Training. Nearly five thousand journalists at the 40 classes by Ossigeno
The ethics seminar “Adjustments and defamation” has touched 18 cities in 13 regions and allowed the Order of Journalists to deliver 32 thousand credits
In 2014-2016, the first three years since Professional training has been made mandatory for Italian journalists, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has sponsored 40 professional training courses for free and with an ethical character on the issue of spurious complaints and ways to prevent them, on ways to defend oneself from unjust accusations and repair errors to avoid sentences for libel and claims for damages. There have been 4,850 journalists who participated in the replicas of the course “Adjustments and defamation” by registering on the SIGEF Platform of the Order of Journalists that, therefore, has handed over 32,000 training credits. The courses were held in 18 cities in 13 regions. They were organized by Ossigeno in collaboration with the National Order and the Regional orders.
The course “Adjustments and defamation” has met with great interest among the participants. In 2017 it will be repeated with updates, additions, insights – on legislative and judicial news and recent rulings of general interest – that will make it useful for those who have already attended. The seminar includes a four-hours long A session, for a general overview, and another four-hours long B session, for the presentation of practical examples and the discussion of special interest cases.
The Ossigeno teachers – who do not receive any compensation for these courses – paint a positive picture for the first three years, and are hoping that this teaching enters into the annual training program for practitioners among the key disciplines, as it provides useful knowledge on a core subject for those who exercise the profession of journalism.
On top of providing the coordinates of the phenomenon of spurious lawsuits and practical indications on how to dodge them, the Ossigeno courses offer a historical and legal framework of the rules governing the profession and those which claim the freedom of the press but at the same time impose limitations and constraints. Furthermore, they offer case studies on the series of obstacles to the right to information, threats and acts of intimidation against journalists, specious lawsuits, and daring civil cases. Among the topics: the legal protection, who can benefit from it and how; imprisonment for those guilty of defamation, how many times is it applied, who are the 155 journalists sentenced each year, what are the effects of sentences for 103 years in prison issued each year; who can counter-sue or sue for libel.
Some of these courses were held in prestigious institutions such as the Senate of the Republic and the National Central Library of Rome, also to mark important international occasions with the participation of witnesses of significant events and guests from London, Madrid, Vienna, Belgrade, and Paris.
Ossigeno deems important to consider the interaction that takes place between the teachers and the participants to these upfront meetings, as it allows the Centre to continually update the knowledge of the actual conditions in which journalist are working in the territory. Among the nearly five thousand participants, Ossigeno has met with stories, experiences, cases of pressures, injustice, loneliness, suffering endured by dozens of colleagues protagonists and victims of threats, bullying, abuse. Some publicly recounted their vicissitudes and hundreds have instead used the confidentiality channels that Ossigeno offers to those who cannot or do not want to make public what they have suffered.
Ossigeno will continue to offer these courses and invites journalists who want to promote one of these courses in their region to make a request to their Regional Order.