O2 in English

Of politics and intolerance

The facts of Palermo are not an isolated case. The episodes of intolerance against the right/duty to inform are becoming recurrent. The temptations of censorship

The hand obscuring the telephoto lens to prevent the filming of the images of what is happening at the Palermo demonstration of the Five Star Movement is the representation of the recurring temptation of the world of politics to gag the freedom of information. And, therefore, to prevent citizens to know what goes on in the public arena. There is a clear will to censorship. Projects that turn up in Parliament against press freedom are further proof of this.

The protests, the screams, the not only verbal violence against members of the press, who were present at a political event in the general public’s interest, are unfortunately becoming recurrent episodes. Fortunately, now it is possible to record a strong reaction and not a ritual one from the organizations of the category. The National Order of Journalists has made available to all the intimidated and threatened journalists a legal service for reporting the violent. It is the first time. It is right, and it is the sign of the times that we live in.

The Five Star Movement demonstration of 25 September 2016, in fact, has crossed a boundary, the boundary of even the slightest tolerance for those who do not place their job at your service. The leader Beppe Grillo called media representatives “fetishist”; to a reporter he asked, derisively, to speak with the mother to ask if she was aware of the questions posed by the son; Julien Assange, in teleconference, loaded on the chroniclers’ consciences ten deaths each. Accusations that are absurd and violent, commented with gestures of intolerance by the Five Star Movement supporters against journalists, photographers and cameramen: insults, shoving, slapping. Intimidation and threats to prevent the right / duty to inform. Fortunately, the parliamentarians and the M5S directorate have dissociated themselves.

The facts of Palermo are not an isolated case. On Sunday, September 18, 2016 to the Northern League Party in Pontida, the leader Matteo Salvini called all journalists of the TG1 newscast as servants, while his militants insulted Gad Lerner, forcing him to leave the event under a protection detail. On 8 April 2016 the men of the security detail of the minister Maria Elena Boschi tackled a journalist who wanted to ask a question on the investigation “Tempa Rossa”.

Perhaps, it is time to do something more.


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