ECPMF / Important / O2 in English

Meetings to export abroad the Italian Ossigeno Censorship Detector

To raise the attention on intimidation that occur, uncover, fight and defeat them in each country with a common observation method

Ossigeno per l’Informazione, the italian based NGO that manages an independent observatory on violations of freedom of the press that occur in Italy, expecially by threats, intimidation and abuses against journalists and bloggers, is promoting in Western European countries its unique method of observation on intimidation.

With this method, called Ossigeno Censorship Detector, since 2008 SEE the Italian Observatory spread the names of more than 2730 journalists and bloggers affected by these kind of retaliations for searching or publishing news unwelcome for some powers.

Many times – and lately last December, during a public conference organised in Rome with more than 700 attending people – Ossigeno explained that in each western country we should consider these violences and these abuses, these ways to refrain informations as a new kind of censorship, a “disguised censorship” that obscures many facts, a kind of censorship we are not used to recognize as such. But we should. We need to uncover these deceptive disguises to fight and defeat them. Ossigeno is committed to do it in Italy and also to raise the attention all over Europe.

Until now Ossigeno focused its activity on reporting each episode of censorship made by illegal means (as threats and violence), each episode of abuses of law on the purpose to prevent the collection and the publishing of news unwelcome for the political, economic, judicial or criminal power. This regular monitoring, followed by analysis of experts, allowed the Observatory to identify the roots and causes of the phenomenon and, among them, backward legislations and gaps in the law.

Of course the situation is different in every country, but in Ossigeno’s opinion, many of problems highlighted in Italy are present also, and in the similar ways, in other democratic and free western countries. Moreover, in the opinion of Ossigeno, this problems can be solved only if they are seen and fight them in a common international view.

So Ossigeno is now working to represent its analysis and its proposal in other countries, verifying, comparing and developing contacts with the organisations for press freedom, journalists safety and right to be informed based in these countries.

First of all, Ossigeno will do these meetings together with its partners in the project European Center for Press and Media Freedom as well as other organisations engaged in the second project financed by the European Union (RSF, EFJ, Index on Censorship). Because this is one of the tasks assigned to it by the ECPMF 2015 project now underway. That task is to present to all the journalists’ organisations, to public institutions and to NGOs that defend press freedom and freedom of expression in Western European countries the proposal to apply the same method of monitoring threats and intimidations successfully trialled in Italy.

In Italy, in the last 10 years, this monitoring method has enabled Ossigeno to document the names of 2730 journalists and bloggers affected by these violations, especially by intimidations, threats and abuses effected through a manipulation of legislation , often without incurring any sanctions and without major media commenting upon the nature and dimensions of these episodes.

The partners in ECPMF have asked Ossigeno to make more widely known its unique methodology, recognising that it enables the observation and documentation of violations of press freedom and freedom of expression which often are not highlighted even in Western European countries.

First of all, Ossigeno will do these meetings together with its partners in the project European Center for Press and Media Freedom as well as other organisations engaged in the second project financed by the European Union (RSF, EFJ, Index on Censorship). Because this is one of the tasks assigned to it by the ECPMF 2015 project now underway. That task is to present to all the journalists’ organisations, to public institutions and to NGOs that defend press freedom and freedom of expression in Western European countries the proposal to apply the same method of monitoring threats and intimidations successfully trialled in Italy.

In Italy, in the last 10 years, this monitoring method has enabled Ossigeno to document the names of 2730 journalists and bloggers affected by these violations, especially by intimidations, threats and abuses effected through a manipulation of legislation , often without incurring any sanctions and without major media commenting upon the nature and dimensions of these episodes.

The partners in ECPMF have asked Ossigeno to make more widely known its unique methodology, recognising that it enables the observation and documentation of violations of press freedom and freedom of expression which often are not highlighted even in Western European countries.
The method, known as the Ossigeno Censorship Detector is a methodical classification and is set out comprehensively in a manual freely available on-line in Italian, French and English at this link

Ossigeno has already established direct contacts in several European countries in order to organise meetings and exchanges of views. With the help of its friends and its partners Osservatorio Ossigeno hopes to involve more countries, more organisations and more individuals concerned to shine a light on this question which has grave consequences for the freedom of information and deserves the same attention reserved for the serious violations which take place in non-democratic countries and in crisis and conflict zones.

Download the handbook that explain the Ossigeno Method of monitoring intimidations against journalists

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