The director of the Communications Supervising Authority issues an invitation to combat the isolation of journalists. The chilling effect is contrary to the principles of the Constitution.
“Among journalists threats are a clearly perceived problem. According to the statistics of Agcom’s Observatory on Journalism, at least one journalist in ten admits to being subject to threats. And yet it is talked little about in the media. But it is useful to speak about it publicly, it is a way to break the solitude and the isolation of individuals under attack”
Del Mastro was speaking at 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.
Delmastro quoted other data according to which newspapers and television news speak about the attack on an individual journalist and do not say what news the journalist was seeking to publish in the investigation. Moreover it appears that on the specific topic of attacks on journalists, indepth articles and reportage are rare. Major attention is triggered only when the attack takes on an extraordinary emotional power due to a video which records it as in the case of the head-butting of Daniele Piervincenzi in Ostia.”
Delmastro explained that “We take great interest in the threats to journalists because journalists perform a fundamental public and socially relevant role. Threats obstruct the freedom of information and create the so-called chilling effect”. Delmastro added that, “limiting the circulation of information is in opposition to the wording of the constitution, since it reduces and obstructs the production of news especially socially relevant news and damages the information market.” The director pointed out that the chilling effect is produced not onl by physical threats but also by vexatious litigation such as the so-clled reckless lawsuits.
He concluded by saying that conferences such as the one organised in the town hall of Rome are, therefore, most welcome.