Ossigeno per l’Informazione
Ossigeno per l’Informazione is a partner in the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom 2015 project. It has developed a unique method of monitoring threats to journalists and hidden censorship of news. The campaign group has announced a report on the recent jail sentences for defamation, which is a criminal offence in Italy.
In one year 3.000 italian journalists attended a four-hour vocational training session on the intimidatory use of defamation, organised by Ossigeno. In May 2015, Ossigeno was invited by the German Embassy in Rome to meet a delegation of Berlin City Senate members. Ossigeno gave an overview on the different violations of freedom of expression occurring in Italy and similarities and differences from the German situation.
Ossigeno was born in 2008 with the aim to provide comprehensive information on the phenomenon of intimidation and threats against journalists, bloggers and media workers. The Observatory was founded because Italian media do not cover these news, even if intimidation are frequent and they prevent the circulation of important information.
Also now, media report an intimidation every thousand that occur. In few years Ossigeno reached the target to break the silence founding and publishing the names of 2,300 victims of intimidation, threats and abuse. In the first 180 days of 2015 other 190 names have been added to that list that everybody can read at this link http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/english/.
Ossigeno make an active search of news about the intimidation, with daily monitoring, done by a staff of volunteers with the tools of professional investigative journalism.In addition to the monitoring, Ossigeno spread news about each episode of intimidation, study why there are so many threats, help victims.
This way Ossigeno classified 34 different typology of intimidation and uncovered some loopholes and gaps in the law that make intimidation easy and unpunished. This way Ossigeno brought the theme to the public attention, showed that intimidation, threats and abuses occur largely in Italy as well in many Western countries against journalists and other media operators like bloggers, opinionists and video reporters.
Today, in Italy, thanks to the work of Ossigeno, all people admit that the law allows anyone to use the complaints and lawsuits for libel to intimidate journalists, to achieve a de facto censorship that would be prohibited.
Representatives of 20 journalists associations, publishing houses, academic institutions, trade unions and media rights experts from many European countries have founded the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in Leipzig on 24th June 2015. Based in Leipzig a team of six starts working after the Centre has now been established as an independent non-profit European Co-operative Society (SCE). See the Centre web site www.ecpmf.eu
The co-operative’s mission is to unite Europe’s highly fragmented media freedom community and to address media freedom violations in EU member states and beyond. Violations of press freedom will be observed, researched, registered and continuously reported to both the public and the political spheres. The ECPMF will work as a registration office, and as contact point for organizations and individuals.