Threats to journalists. Order and Ossigeno share the alarm of the Interior Ministry

Both reinforce the appeal of the Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese in the light of their data which revealed a doubling of intimidation in the first months of 2020

During a meeting in Rome, the president of the Order of Journalists, Carlo Verna, and the president of the Ossigeno per l’Informazione Observatory Alberto Spampinato, examined the serious situation of threats to journalists that emerges from the data released on June 25th 2020 by the “Coordination Centre for monitoring, analysis and continuous exchange of information on the phenomenon of intimidating acts against journalists” set up at the Italian Ministry of the Interior. At the end of the meeting, the Order of Journalists released the following note.

The President of the Order of Journalists, Carlo Verna, and the President of the Ossigeno per l’Informazione Observatory Alberto Spampinato, express concern about the growing number of intimidations and threats against journalists in Italy and appreciate the strong appeal of the Minister of Interior Luciana Lamorgese to preserve freedom of the press throughout Italy as the “founding defence of our democracy”.

“We share these words of the Minister, spoken on June 25th . The appeal – affirm Verna and Spampinato – is most appropriate in light of the latest findings of the documentation centre of the Interior Ministry, which in the first half 2020 identified 83 threats reported by journalists. In the whole of the previous year, 79 had been detected. The figure for the current year shows, therefore, a strong acceleration of the phenomenon: a fact that cannot be underestimated. In fact, in 2020 the monthly rate of threats doubled compared to 2018 and 2019. This trend was rightly called “worrying” by the Deputy Minister Matteo Mauri, “For us it is an alarming trend”.

“This trend, moreover – they add – confirms what emerges from other reliable surveys, which report an even higher number of threats. In the first quarter of this year, the Ossigeno per l’Informazione Observatory, which conducts independent monitoring and also takes into account the persistent abuse of libel laws for intimidating and punitive purposes in Italy, recorded 123 intimidations. The same trend was observed by Ossigeno in the second quarter”.

“In the face of all this, we consider fully justified the new initiatives announced by Minister Lamorgese to more systematically oppose the phenomenon throughout Italy by mobilizing the local Interior Ministry officials and to intervene more effectively also in terms of prevention, with more timely surveys and with useful initiatives to sensitize citizens and institutions to the attitude to be adopted in the face of the worsening of a phenomenon of serious social importance. The spread of unjustifiable reactions to journalists , the emergence of an atmosphere of intolerance towards media workers and journalism itself and the frequent use of a language of hatred endanger journalists and prevent public discussion “.

The presidents of the Odg and of Ossigeno conclude that “The Italian Order of Journalists and the Ossigeno per l’Informazione Observatory will concretely support these new initiatives of the Italian Interior Ministry and make their knowledge and experts available to the local officials, also for the purpose of conducting joint training initiatives for journalists and law enforcement officers, in the belief that a better mutual knowledge of their respective prerogatives and their limits can contribute to the prevention and the resistance to threats directed at journalists “.

ASP (wt)

Read also: Italian interior Ministry: in 6 months more threats to journalists than the previous 12 months

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