This website has been created with the encouragement of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, to make all information about each journalist more accessible.
To celebrate World Press Freedom Day promoted by UNESCO every year, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has created, on 3rd May 2020, a new website “Seeking the truth”, an online monographic archive dedicated to the memory of the 30 Italian journalists killed since 1960 in the exercise of their profession.
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović sent a message to Ossigeno welcoming this initiative which, she says, offers “a unique opportunity to see the human beings behind the “slain media professionals ” because for each of those killed while ‘searching for the truth’, the Ossigeno website recounts the personal story and explains “what he or she was investigating and what was done to punish those responsible for their killing”.
“They were seeking the truth” collects the stories of Italian journalists killed in the last 60 years by mafias, terrorism and conflicts abroad with the aim of enhancing the initiatives launched to remember some of these journalists and to make more easily accessible the information existing on each one, with an ongoing process that will continue over time and that has been launched with the direct involvement of the victims’ families.
“This archive, together with the Memorial Panel that portrays their faces, created by Ossigeno – adds Dunja Mijatović – allows us to discover their lives and makes us share their dreams, interrupted brusquely and prematurely. It also introduces us to their families and helps us understand what we have lost with their deaths. It is impossible not to be deeply moved by Benedetta Tobagi’s account of her growing up without her father Walter, nor to be inspired by the example of civil commitment represented by Peppino Impastato. Is it possible not to feel indignant at the failure to identify those responsible for killing Ilaria Alpi? Or not understand from these events the urgent need to guarantee the safety of journalists and the freedom to inform the public, even when this information disturbs those in power? We have a duty to keep the memory of these brave people alive. We must pick up their torch and do our part to illuminate the dark corners where corruption, crime and politics converge. “
Ossigeno’s new information initiative was achieved with the professional work of a team of volunteers, in the spirit with which the association that manages the independent Observatory was created. The Observatory was created to document and analyse the increase in intimidation and threats against Italian journalists, in particular against reporters engaged in the front line in the search for the most hidden facts about organized crime. The Observatory has documented 4031 cases of threats and intimidation of reporters in the last 14 years in Italy. The organisation has developed this activity together with some support services for journalists and bloggers in difficulty: a legal aid service, Continuing Professional Development activity and tangible professional help to break the isolation suffered by those who suffer intimidation and retaliation because of their work.
Read here the full text that Dunja Mijatović has sent to Ossigeno per l’Informazione.