And today it is still not free. There are pens and brains serving a death sentence. Our world is the one of “Fahrenheit 451”
This message was sent to Ossigeno per l’Informazione on the occasion of the Concert for Press Freedom that was held in Rome on 21 June 2018 at the House of Jazz in Roma as part of the European Musica Day, to be read during the event. The author is a Turkish journalist and writer that had to leave her country following threats. The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom is assisting her through the Journalists-in-Residence programme that provides a refuge for a limited period of time, a safe and discreet place to continue investigating and publishing, to rest and to recover and – if individual circumstances permit – a platform to highlight threats to media freedom in the journalist’s home country.
Journalism it’s a kind of breathing, that’s what it means to democracy and freedom of speech and expression. If we lose it we will also lose our today and tomorrow; we definitely have a responsibility towards society and future generations.
Today nearly all over the world, journalism falls under the shadow of political circumstances. Politics and politicians govern our pens! Our profession’s situation is more difficult than at any time in history.
Beside all this, journalists lose their lives because they put their pen to paper! Journalism is not free today, our ‘tongues’ and our ‘brains’ are serving a life sentence in prison. Our situation is like the world portrayed in Ray Bradbury’s cult novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’! That’s the temperature at which books start to burn.
Not as journalists but also as humans we need each other, we need to ‘fight’ for pen, paper and brains, if we still believe democracy and freedom of speech!