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Threats. The Italian Case we would like to make known everywhere

210 journalists threatened in seven months. We go on holiday with these thought. Ossigeno suspends the newsletter for the month of August. See you in September

These first seven months of the year have been intense. Since January 1, 2013, Ossigeno per l’Informazione monitored threats, intimidation and other forms of abuse directed in Italy to 210 media workers, most of them journalists. And in September, we expect a lot of work.

We want to let everyone know how has become difficult, in this country, to publish real news; to say that in a municipality or a public body something is wrong, as it is now difficult for a journalist to criticize the mayor, the commissioner or another administrator public; how risky it has become to write in a newspaper or to tell in a radio or i a television news that an entrepreneur or politician has (or is suspected of having) unclear relationships with criminals, gangsters, corrupt or other people (they are many) who cannot tolerate the light of journalistic information on his dirty or unfair business.

What is happening to the journalism in Italy is very sad. Car burned. Jornaists and writers discriminated against because of their ideas. Journalists beaten and dragged with an excuse in court. Journalists sentenced to prison for defamation. Photographers and reporters robbed of computers and archives. The climate of intolerance for professional journalism and investigations is widespread.

Many believe it is only the mafia to hit the journalists, that threats and reprisals occur only in some regions. any think: just be careful, correct, and avoid threats. But it is not so. These episodes occur throughout Italy and nowadays to hit the media workers, in addition to criminals, are also bullies entrepreneurs, politicians arrogant, unscrupulous businessmen.

In the Italy of today anyone can seriously damage a journalist at little cost and at little risk of being punished for it.

Why does all this happen? Ossigeno has found that these are the effects of a particular disease of democracy that has developed especially in Italy, favored by the persistence of laws disrespectful of the freedom of press and expression. This disease, if not treated, may produce serious damage and could spread to other countries.

So the case of the Italian journalists censored by violence and abuse speaks to all the countries where press freedom is fully established by law, as it is in Italy. In these developed countries disguised forms of censorship, violence and abuse can spread and may obscure an important part of the news on the vices of power, that is, the most important news for the citizens. With these thoughts, Ossigeno says goodbye to September.

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