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Competition notice for two degree awards launched by Ossigeno

In memory of the professor Mario Paolo Grego, entrusted to the words of his wife, Cristina Cappello: “He never missed an opportunity to say that Society needs a free journalism”

The No-Profit Association Ossigeno per l’Informazione is organizing the first edition of the Paolo Mario Grego Award and in this regard announces a competition for the award of two degree awards, one of the amount of one thousand five hundred euro and the other worth one thousand euro. Those eligible for the Jury’s examination are the authors of a master’s dissertation on issues relating to freedom of the press and censorship in Western countries, whose presentation was held between January 2015 and July 2016 in the Universities of Rome La Sapienza, Tor Vergata, Roma Tre, LUISS, and LUMSA. The awards will be presented to the winners by the end of October of 2016 during a public event.

Requests to participate must be sent to Giuria del Premio, at Ossigeno per l’Informazione in Piazza della Torretta, 36, 00186 Roma, and must be received no later than 5 August 2016. They must be written on plain paper and signed. They must contain the candidate’s profile and illustrate the specific subject matter and originality of the research. Each application must be accompanied by two copies of the dissertation and a self-certification of the identity registry, residence, mailing address, e-mail address, mobile phone number, the score obtained at degree exam. It will be considered as a bonus a score higher than 100/110.

The winners agree to participate to the public awards ceremony, accepting that the allocation of the award will fall in case of absence. Furthermore, they undertake to cede to Ossigeno per l’Informazione, for a period of one year from the date of the award, the right of publication of the work presented. The Jury is nominated by Ossigeno’s Executive Committee. For the 2015 edition it will comprise Alberto Spampinato, Lirio Abbate, Attilio Bolzoni, Cristina Cappello Badio and Claudio Fava. The prizes will be presented by the Honorary President of Ossigeno, Senator Sergio Zavoli.

Ms Cristina Badio Cappello, widow of Professor Mario Paolo Grego, considered that the donation to Ossigeno per l’Informazione was the best way to honor the memory of her husband, who died in 2014, about whom she recalls the multifaceted figure of teacher and the ideals and principles that inspired his life, with the following words:

“The principles that more than any other guided Paolo during his life were two: to defend freedom of expression, freedom of information, the right to inform and be informed; practice and defend secularism against invasion of any established power: may it be secular, state, religious, political or otherwise. The rate of freedom trumpeted and practiced seemed lower than necessary, an insufficient consideration he deemed necessary for himself and for the whole of society. These guidelines also inspired his job as a teacher, especially in teaching high school kids. Not surprisingly, among his many passions, it emerged that for the study and for transmission to students of history, without veils or censorship.

Mario taught in Mestre. He was an attentive and keen observer of the national and Venetian reality. He took on as a burden all that he had failed to see that he did not understand in time although it was in front of his eyes and under the eyes of all. I refer in particular to the destruction of the environment in Venice and Porto Marghera, to the damage caused by the discharge of toxic sludge in the lagoon. Why, in front of the unveiling of the disaster, had there been so much personal and collective blindness (also by the institutions, politicians and trade unions)? Among the various reasons, Paolo pointed to one in particular: the lack of information, true information, authentic. The newspapers had not told what was happening: the progress of that slow but inexorable poisoning of the environment. So he never missed an opportunity to say that society has a vital requirement in journalism, of a free and independent journalism, able to investigate the facts that happen and to interpret the facts with independent judgment and in the public interest. Paolo taught this to his students and pushed them to appreciate investigative reporting, the curious journalists, brave, free, enemy of any censorship, overt or disguised. These were the beliefs of Paolo and these are the reasons why I asked Ossigeno per l’Informazione to remember him and honor him by naming after fim a Graduate Award to highlight theses that focus on the freedom of the press and that report on the ever-changing faces that censorship takes on to escape the controls and hit the free information.


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