In Italy the number of serious violations of freedom of the press registered by ossigeno is high and impressive and finally everybody admit it is true. But what happen in similar countries of Europe? No violations occur, as it seems by newspapers clipping? Or the same mass of violations also occur but is covered by silence, as it was in Italy until some year ago?
To find the correct answer Ossigeno is promoting abroad a serial of workshops and meetings to talk about this issue in each country with journalists, bloggers, Ngo representatives, observers, trade unions, experts. These meetings are held in the frame of the current project ECPMF financed by the European Union.
Ossigeno representatives will take note of the way violations of freedom of expression are observed and made public in each western country and will illustrate his original approach, the one that in Italy uncoverend thousands violations of the freedom of expression and bruought the phenomenon to the attention of politics and parliamenty, revealing what now is commonly named “Th Italian Paradox”, that of a country were the press is free but journalists are under strong pressure of threats and abuses that occur and usually go unreported by media.
The first of these meetings will take place in Berlin 12 April 2016 at 14:30 with Germans associations, trade unions representatives and german journalists with direct experiences of threats and abuses. (Registration is needed to take part )
The second one will be held in Madrid on Thursday 14 April at 9:30 at the Campus of the University Rey Juan Carlos. I twill be a conference with attending students at the campus of the University Rey Juan Carlos. It is promoted by the University together together with the Spanish Association des Periodistas Europeo as a “Jornada Academica Italia-Espana” on the theme “New challenges in Europe to freedom of the press”(“Nuevo desafìos Europeos de la liberated informativa”).
A large windows is open to Ossigeno’s analysys and proposal, with made by Alberto Spampinato and Federica Delogu. On the he theme will follow a roundtable with the participation of experts, between which there are prof. Mario Vicente de Castro, Juan Barata (expert from OSCE Representative for Freedom of the press office), Alberto Spampinato, director of Ossigeno per l’Informazione, representatives of spanish NGO. Later will be a working lunch with investigative journalists and NGO interested in the Ossigeno experience about monitoring.
On Thursday 21 April the director of Ossigeno will be in Strasbourg on official invitation of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. He will present as a good practice the recent Italian experience of the cooperation between Ossigeno NGO and the Antimafia Parliamentary Commission. The hearing was organized by the PACE in the frame of the underway exchange of views on “Parliamentary Scrutiny over corruption: parliamentary co-operation with investigative media”, during the meeting of the Sub-Committee on Media and Information Society. I twill be held on Thursday 21 April 2016 from 8.30 to 10 am at the Council of Europe, Palais de l’Europe.
Ossigeno per l’Informazione, the Italian based NGO that manages an independent observatory on violations of freedom of the press that occur in Italy, specially by threats, intimidation and abuses against journalists and bloggers, since 2008 SEE spread the names of more than 2730 journalists and bloggers affected by these kind of retaliations for searching or publishing news unwelcome for some powers.
Many times – and lately last December, during a public conference organised in Rome with more than 700 attending people - Ossigeno explained that in each western country we should consider these violences and these abuses, these ways to refrain informations as a new kind of censorship, a “disguised censorship” that obscures many facts, a kind of censorship we are not used to recognize as such. But we should. We need to uncover these deceptive disguises to fight and defeat them.
Ossigeno is committed to do it in Italy and also to raise the attention all over Europe.
Until now Ossigeno focused its activity on reporting each episode of censorship made by illegal means (as threats and violence), each episode of abuses of law on the purpose to prevent the collection and the publishing of news unwelcome for the political, economic, judicial or criminal power. This regular monitoring, followed by analysis of experts, allowed the Observatory to identify the roots and causes of the phenomenon and, among them, backward legislations and gaps in the law.
Of course the situation is different in every country, but in Ossigeno’s opinion, many of
problems highlighted in Italy are present also, and in the similar ways, in other democratic and free western countries. Moreover, in the opinion of Ossigeno, this problems can be solved only if they are seen and fight them in a common international view.
So Ossigeno is now working to represent its analysis and its proposal in other countries, verifying, comparing and developing contacts with the organisations for press freedom, journalists safety and right to be informed based in these countries.
First of all, Ossigeno will do these meetings together with its partners in the projectEuropean Center for Press and Media Freedom as well as other organisations engaged in the second project financed by the European Union (RSF, EFJ, Index on Censorship). Because this is one of the tasks assigned to it by the ECPMF 2015 project now underway. That task is to present to all the journalists’ organisations, to public institutions and to NGOs that defend press freedom and freedom of expression in Western European countries the proposal to apply the same method of monitoring threats and intimidations successfully trialled in Italy.
In Italy, in the last 10 years, this monitoring method has enabled Ossigeno to document the names of 2730 journalists and bloggers affected by these violations, especially by intimidations, threats and abuses effected through a manipulation of legislation , often without incurring any sanctions and without major media commenting upon the nature and dimensions of these episodes.
The partners in ECPMF have asked Ossigeno to make more widely known its unique methodology, recognising that it enables the observation and documentation of violations of press freedom and freedom of expression which often are not highlighted even in Western European countries.
The method, known as the Ossigeno Censorship Detector is a methodical classification and is set out comprehensively in a manual freely available on-line in Italian, French and English at this link https://www.ossigeno.info/le-nuove-lenti-per-vedere-minacce-e-censura/
Ossigeno has already established direct contacts in several European countries in order to organise meetings and exchanges of views. With the help of its friends and its partners Osservatorio Ossigeno hopes to involve more countries, more organisations and more individuals concerned to shine a light on this question which has grave consequences for the freedom of information and deserves the same attention reserved for the serious violations which take place in non-democratic countries and in crisis and conflict zones.
Download Ossigeno Method of monitoring intimidations against journalists at: