A blind eye by the Italian media is turned towards the phenomenon of the intimidation of journalists . Why? By choice? Unintentionally? How do reporters and newspaper editors respond?
The first Quarterly Ossigeno per l’Informazione (Oxygen for Information) confirms that 2020 has not started well in Italy as regards intimidation and threats to journalists, in line with what our Observatory had already reported in the first weeks of January. Now in an analytical summary of everything that happened in the first three months of the year it is clear how and why the negative trend materialized.
In Italy journalists and bloggers continue to suffer these attacks on a daily basis. They constitute serious violations of the right to information, solidarity towards the journalists is weak and the punishment of those responsible is sporadic. Readers continue to be deprived of information that is uncomfortable and unwelcome to powerful individuals; news that can circulate only when information is free. Unfortunately, it is not sufficiently free.
To be convinced of this, it is not necessary to read the international rankings on press freedom that place Italy in embarrassing positions. Since they do not explain why they are, therefore, not very convincing. Just look at how little space Italian newspapers and radio and television news programs dedicate to this dismal phenomenon of intimidation. Italian media has room for every topic, even for the most trivial, but not for the intimidation of journalists.
Of these 123 intimidations reported in Ossigeno’s first Quarterly 2020 Report only a few individuals have already learned the news through the media.
It is as if the media did not see this news. Yet it needn’t be so. In just 91 days, Ossigeno, with its weak telescopes mounted on the threshold of its base observed 123. It examined and publicly reported them. And it is certain that in our firmament in those 91 days there were more than these 123 comets.
How can so much distraction, so much silence be explained? Ossigeno has asked for a response from the editors of the newspapers and from the reporters who sense an obligation to give readers and listeners all the relevant news of public interest.
Ossigeno will continue to pose this question and support it with one of the most convincing arguments: factual evidence which usually opens the mind and helps reflection. Because one can be stubborn, you can avert one’s gaze in order to not see the facts, but the facts persist and await answers. They await like unheeded illnesses, like unpaid debts.