“Its an antimafia journalist”. But what does it mean?
A reflection on the meaning commonly given to this definition and on the contradictory aspects of this terminology
I’ve been wondering for some time what “antimafia journalist” status means, which some give themselves and others see given to them.
I know well, and I want to emphasize it, that there are journalists who investigate the Mafia with skill and courage, and that nine of them have paid such commitment with their lives, but it seems to me that none of them was labeled as an antimafia journalist, and if they would have I do not think they would have liked the title. But I also think that some journalists adopt this title for self-importance and hide maybe some professional shortcomings: deficiencies that would not make them shine.
A good journalist does not need fig leaves in order to qualify, nor of any label, nor to wear any uniform. His work speaks for him. A good journalist is he who tells facts of public interest, even those bothersome facts that some would like to keep hidden. A good journalist is he who actively searches for information, knows how to find them, interpret them, line them up in the correct order and expose them to make a case’s scope understood as well as its overall implications. A good journalist is he who strives to describe the true reality without purging it, without embellishing it, without even asking who benefits from the knowledge of those facts.
The journalist who acts in such a way does his job well, he is not at war with anyone, except with those who would like to keep said facts and circumstances that citizens have the right to know secret. Who acts in such a way, who provides truthful information plays a public service and the law should recognize it. To give citizens the necessary elements to orient themselves and make informed choices is as important as providing basic education, and maybe even more so because only to the extent that citizens are informedcan can they participate actively and in full independence of judgment to the public life.
If these are the tasks and duties of every journalist, what is the the meaning of defining someone an “antimafia journalist”? What’s the point if some are self-styled as such? No one, I think.
Finally, there is the more common meaning that is given to this term and it deserves a separate reflection. The anti-Mafia journalist is often attributed to who has privileged information channels with the public prosecutors and some prosecutors. As the lawyer Andrea Di Pietro wrote READ THE TEXT sometimes these links between some journalists and some prosecutors are too tight. I share the reasoning. How many times has a certain kind of journalism told of Mafia cases as observed only through the acts of the Public Prosecutor and without a direct observation of reality? How many times has a certain journalism sided with prosecutors, crying for a scandal whenever a court acquitted someone? How many times has the Mafia has been described (only) through the thesis of the public prosecution, even in trials of remarkable and prominent figures? And how many journalists have become experts of the Mafia for the simple fact of having participated in meetings with some “anti-mafia” judges? Perhaps, too many times.