Major Ivan M. Consiglio is a freelance multimedia producer and former senior executive TV-News producer at Malta24 Ltd. He served for 25 years in the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM), and retired from the Service on July 23rd, 2012 as its Staff Officer 2 – Public Information. In his appointment, he performed duties of a multi-media journalist and communications coordinator at Headquarters AFM. In his spokesperson capacity for the Service, his varied, wide and diverse media-production duties and responsibilities included general public relations (press releases, Tv/print features and articles), event photo-assignment coverage management, picture and video-editing, filming and photography.
He studied art during his secondary education with Harry Alden at the Malta School of Arts, with Anthony Degiovanni at the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, and with Andrew Diedo at St. Aloysius College, who introduced him to photography and old-school darkroom techniques.
During his adolescent years, Ivan Consiglio photographed mostly those outdoor activities he pursued through the Scout Movement and those related to his interest in general aviation.
He enlisted in the Maltese military in 1987, and initially served on inshore patrol boats. Selected as an Officer-Cadet that same year, he trained at the Italian Army’s Infantry & Cavalry School in Rome. He went on to further his training and studies at the US Army’s Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1991 and again 1997.
When he enlisted in the army, his photography matured to focus on the chronicling of military events going on around him. He considers himself a ‘late-convert’ to digital photography, and when it happened it came with the nudge of his mentor from Associated Press, Lino Arrigo Azzopardi. Encouraged further by former MPS President, Lino Psaila, he scooped every opportunity to capture news events that featured Maltese soldiers in action.
Experienced in physical, electronic, security, risk analysis and threat assessments, executive VIP protection and aviation security, he followed courses with Group 4 Securitas International, Interpol, British Army, and worked with White House Secret Service during Bush-Gorbachov Summit in Malta. He later transitioned to light air defence artillery, qualified from Italian Army’s School of Anti-Aircraft Artillery in Sabuadia as a L40/70 AA-gun battery commander and tactical radar control officer.
After a brief stint of battery-command time, appointed Adjutant & Unit Public Relations Officer at HQ 2nd (Composite) Regiment AFM. On Oct. 30th 2006, he moved to brigade HQ as the new AFM’s Public Relations’ cell staff officer in charge of all public and press information operations.
At the height of the illegal migration phenomenon in the Central Mediterranean region between 2006 and 2009, and with landings daily in Malta of sub-Saharan migrants, Maj. Consiglio found himself in the thick of rescue and recovery operations at sea, photographing the human plight and misery of the migrants. His photos have been published both locally and overseas by many wire-news services.
In January 2010, he went to place second in the news-photography category of Institute of Maltese Journalists’ annual journalism awards. That same year, he won as co-producer the best reality TV-show award for the Net TV programme “ZERO-91”, his own brainchild, which the AFM produced with Basement Productions.
“Taking photos of Maltese soldiers during AFM operations or training is something I take very seriously” Consiglio asserts, “ … when I get back to my HQ, the troops are still out there tackling dangers, difficulties, and sometimes sheer boredom that comes with their job.”
As a photographer, Maj. Consiglio hopes that the stories he writes and the photos he takes will be seen by others who will “see soldiers for what they really are, citizen-soldiers who are doing what most other people won’t.”
One famous war photographer once said, “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” Consiglio says. “I’ve kept this bit of advice with me since when I first started accompanying local and foreign media out to sea to cover the rescue and recovery of migrants. Since then, I realised that is precisely what makes a good shot, which may on occasions get me down on my knees in the dirt, or at other times see me precariously leaning out of a helicopter. Doing what it takes to show Maltese society at large an angle they won’t normally get to see, is what makes the photo.”
As a senior executive TV-news producer with Malta24 Ltd., he was responsible to coordinate live newscasts or recordings which the TV-agency is booked up by its clients. This often required finding stories to report on, but unlike a straight-up print or web news reporter, television news segments often may need to be conceived, and understanding how to present a story visually, besides identifying and researching stories.
“If you watch a news story on TV, either a segment on the evening news or on one of the sat-TV news shows, there are visual components meshed with overarching stories”, which also involves technical aspects when putting a story together. His skills include cutting and piecing together footage –- along with crafting any accompanying commentary, since proficient in segment script writing.
Ivan Consiglio coordinated live TV and news content services to several big names in global news networking. Some of the high professional national broadcasters he worked with were RAI and La7, and international media like Al Jazeera Arabic/ English/ Balkans, France24, CNN and Paramount Television, NHK, NOS, TVE, BBC, and ARD.
His work in the field of professional news making saw him coordinating news content and facilities to national and international media companies in Italy and Malta. This unique combination of high-quality journalism and having a wide range of media expertise through the provision of production facilities and professional support to international crews, gave Ivan Consiglio the experience in covering news stories from Italy and the Vatican. This gave him a distinguished experience in the creation and production of TV programs, such as fly-on-the-wall documentaries and investigative reports. As an independent producer helping to create content and providing production services, he believes in professional journalism and quality news making, in cross-border partnerships of collaboration with broadcasters and production companies from all over the world.
CHARACTER & PERSONALITY:
As an Acquarian, has been defined as ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always aware of people’s flaws and weaknesses. Somewhat critical, but hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organised, sensitive and having deep thoughts, but know how to make others happy. Usually quiet, unless exited or tensed. So, that should make him rather reserved, not the party animal he always aspired to be. Highly attentive this Acquarian should be, resistant to illness but prone to colds, like any common mortal so. Romantic but has difficulty expressing love (Shakespeare or Van Halen, help here please!). Loves children, hence his days of volunteering in the Scouts Association of Malta, a homely guy, but above all loyal. Seemingly in need to improve social abilities, whilst easily jealous.
Go figure, now you tell him how much of all that is true…. #ivanmconsiglio