10 years of Ossigeno on the Unexplored Continent

The Observatory returned to Palermo where it took its first steps, following the path and with the companions of the first expedition in the world of threats to newspapers and journalists.

Ossigeno per l’Informazione celebrated, on Thursday 13th December 2018, in Palermo its first ten years of activity. It did it in the simplest and most emblematic way by returning, together with the same partners to the same room where it took its first steps in public ten years ago.

This time in the great hall of Villa Zito, made available by the Sicily Foundation, there was a professional refresher course on “Corrections and defamation” (the 57th edition in four years) attended by a hundred journalists, half of whom in video conference from Catania and Trapani and three high school classes. Also there were the President of the Order of Journalists of Sicily, Giulio Francese, and the President of the Pio La Torre Centre, Vito Lo Monaco.

Two reassuring presences, because the Order of Journalists of Sicily and the Pio La Torre Centre were also on July 11th 2008, ten years ago, when Ossigeno organized its first public conference in the same room on the theme “Mafia , phone-taps , reporters under police escort. For an anti-mafia information, to support the difficult job of searching and publishing news on the Mafia and its relationships with society, the economy and politics”.

The happy circumstances gave Ossigeno the opportunity to present unpublished data on the libel sentencing in Sicily, to retrace the long journey taken by the Observatory, to rejoice at the work done and the results obtained, to thank all those that in these years have helped Ossigeno to grow, to gain visibility and credibility, to make known new aspects of the difficulties of reporters committed to publishing news and opinions uncomfortable for those in power. Ossigeno thanks to all of them, for the collaboration, for the moral and material support, for the suggestions and the criticisms that have pushed Ossigeno to do always better.

The anniversary was a reminder of the many generous collaborators who have helped Ossigeno in this long undertaking. There have been people of great value accompanying Ossigeno. Some of them have departed prematurely: Professor Angelo Agostini, the journalists Paolo Castelli and Roberto Morrione and the lawyer Oreste Flamminii Minuto. They are greatly missed and Ossigeno wishes to remember their names.

In these ten years, with their fundamental contribution, with the generous support of the numerous volunteers, with the work of our collaborators, Ossigeno has have managed to get to know and better understand the phenomenon of threats to Italian journalists, the most dramatic problem gripping the world of Italian journalism. Ossgieno has disseminated its knowledge. It broke the wall of silence and now many talk about this problem whereas ten years ago this did not happen.

This change, which was Ossigeno’s prime objective, is the biggest reward for these ten years of commitment.

Ossigeno is delighted to have reached this first stage of its adventurous journey to discover what Ossigeno referred to then as the great “Unexplored Continent”.

Even if painfully, Ossigeno has concluded the most dangerous phase of its navigation. Ossigeno reached terra firma as it had predicted, whilst many others reckoned that it would not land anywhere.

A long path lies ahead. An equally long and risky exploration awaits. And yet Ossigeno must find the means necessary to face this other part of the journey, to crown its endeavour through the introduction of the most effective and effective remedies.

Everything seems difficult today. But on balance, no more difficult than it seemed, ten years ago, to find a way to start the journey that arrived here. So Ossigeno will try and will anyway make a start. Who wants to , who loves the pleasure of discovery, is welcome to join Ossigeno. To the others, an appointment to meet again in Palermo in ten years time.

Ossigeno will be there to recount what has happened.

ASP (wt)

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