Angers. If the union starts speaking of violent and hidden censorship
The safety of journalists has been a central theme of the triennial Congress of the International Federation of Journalists, meeting in the Loire Valley
We must reflect on the future of journalism in the world and on the safety of journalists when faced with the fact that too many of them continue to be killed because of the job they do: an average of two every week. With these words the secretary general Anthony Bellanger has summarized the main objectives of the 29th triennial Congress of the IFJ, the International Federation of Journalists to which are affiliated 179 unions in 139 countries (in Italy its the FNSI) representing 600,000 journalists of the world over. The conference took place from June 7th to 10th in Angers, in the Loire Valley in France.
It is the first time that the issues of personal safety and protection of journalists are brought to the fore on the agenda. It is a sign of the difficult times that journalism is experiencing everywhere, even in historic strongholds of the West, tightened by a pincer move between the crisis of the old publishing model and the growing number of attacks against journalists who seek and spread inconvenient truths, unwelcome news to political, economic and criminal powers.
In recent weeks, the IFJ has asked its affiliated organizations an updated list of the most serious threats from last year. The FNSI has provided details of the report produced by Ossigeno per l’Informazione in which 529 Italian journalists affected by intimidation, retaliation and abuse in 2015 are listed.
It is important that the journalists’ union starts paying more attention to these events and takes note of the fact that they now impose a new form of censorship, even in free and democratic countries. It is important to talk about it and find ways to make it clear to the citizens and to politicians of the gravity of the situation and the need to protect journalistic work with appropriate laws, with criminal protection tools to the right of information, and with a proper balance of the other rights. It is important to spread the awareness that to counter violations of the right to information in the local areas it is necessary to first monitor them in each country through observation centers independent from the government, as it is being done for other universal rights, and as we have started doing in Italy.