Federico Jiménez Losantos is a contemporary Spanish journalist who has embraced the changing times and the new technology they have brought. He has worked in radio, television, the written press and the digital press.
Federico Jiménez Losantos was born in Orihuela de Tremedal, in the Spanish region of Aragon, in 1951. His father was a cobbler who also worked as the mayor, while his mother was a math teacher. At the age of 10, he won a rural grant that he kept receiving throughout the duration of his studies, which enabled him to study for his qualifications in the Instituto de Enseñanza Media and the San Pablo School in Teruel. At the age of 16, Federico published his first set of poems and stories.
He then went on to study Philosophy and Literature in Zaragoza, and in 1971, he changed course so that he could specialize in Spanish Philosophy at the University of Barcelona. He also studied Psychoanalysis with Óscar Masotta, and was among the founders of the Freudian Library of Barcelona, as well as the university literature magazine. In 1978, along with Alberto Cardín, Federico Jiménez Losantos founded the magazine 'Diwan', which dealt with politics, philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis. This publication was considered by the newspaper 'El País' to be one of the most important, open and lively culture magazines of the time, that helped to spread philosophy, particularly that of François Lyotard, across Spain.
In 1979, Federico Jiménez Losantos won the El Viejo Topo Essay Prize for La cultura española y el nacionalismo. However, the publication then refused to publish his work, eventually saying that it was 'un-publishable'. It was only when the editors of 'Ajoblanco', a rival magazine, decided to publish the work that the controversial nature of the essay got out. The essay criticized Catalan nationalism and defended Castilian Spanish-speakers' cultural rights. This was the start of Federico's controversial style, and it later ended up causing the Manifiesto de los 2.300.
Under the Franco regime and during the transition to democracy, Federico Jiménez Losantos was a member of a number of left wing parties, including the Organización Comunista de España, the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, and the Partido Socialista de Aragón. His political activities, along with the political freedom of his magazine, 'Diwan', meant that Federico became a controversial person in Spain. As a result, he was later kidnapped by the Catalan terrorist group, Terra Lliure, in 1981, who shot him in the knee before releasing him.
Throughout the end of the 1980s, as well as in the 1990s and 2000s, he has continued to work in radio and television. Among some of the companies on his CV, one can find Antena 3, COPE, PRISA, esRadio, and Libertad Digital. In 1999, he eventually gave up working in editing at 'ABC', and instead became part of the team at 'El Mundo', where he continues to write a column three times a week entitled Comentarios liberales. He is also the editor of the magazine 'La Ilustración Liberal' at the same time, which you should be able to find on sale when you visit Spain.
Both in his radio journalism and his written journalism, Federico Jiménez Losantos often uses satire, irony and critiques to get his opinion across. On the radio, he likes to use silence, rhetorical questions and vocatives as well as combining popular expressions with more sophisticated ones (especially quotes from classical literature). Similarly, his style in the written Spanish press is also colloquial and uses many expressions and phrases. Federico Jiménez Losantos also makes a number of references to popular and classic culture. This makes his journalism a great place to start if you want to study Spanish, as it will give you a great insight into the everyday Spanish used in the country.
However, some of his chosen phrases can be hard hitting and, at times, controversial. As a result, Federico Jiménez Losantos has been sentenced four times for violating the right to privacy and twice for slander. He often uses demeaning nicknames in order to refer to people in the public eye which has also provoked a number of quarrels.
Despite the controversy surrounding his work, Federico Jiménez Losantos has still been awarded a number of prizes for his contribution to contemporary Spanish journalism. Among these are the Continent Prize for Journalism, the González Ruano Prize in 1993, the Mirror Prize of Spain in 1994, the Silver Microphone in 2000, and the Golden Microphone in 2007.