8th May Cardani (Agcom) Threats drain the lifeblood from journalism

Marcello Cardani president of Agcom, opened the conference “Transparency and Freedom of Information” organised on the 8th May in Rome’s town hall by Agcom and Ossigeno with the patronage of UNESCO and in collaboration with the Lazio Order of journalists

For the president of the communications agency watchdog, the intimidations taken together with precarious employment, reduce the entry of young recruits into the sector.

“Over and above the physical threat, one must note also the economic one which tends to dry up the lifeblood of journalism, preventing the young from entering the profession.”

The president reminded his audience that limitations on press freedom are a problem which afflicts “the non-democracies, but also the advanced democracies”. He then recalled that four centuries ago in Great Britain, John Milton wrote a clamorous protest against an edict on the press which intended to approve every single word before being published. “ That protest is still relevant. The censors of Milton’s time are no longer there – he added – but there still exist strong powers who decide in a similar way if certain news is published or not”. This clashes with the principal value of democracy which is the freedom of information. And therefore, to fully guarantee this right, the collaboration of everybody is needed: Parliament, institutions and civil society.

The event in the Rome town hall formed part of the two days which Ossigeno and Agcom organised to celebrate World Press Freedom Day dedicated by the UN on the 3rd May each year. The conference followed the commemoration of the victims of the mafia and for journalists killed which took place on the 3rd May at the House of Jazz in Rome.

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