by Marilù Mastrogiovanni
There is a place that for the past two years has been a free zone of confrontation and dialogue between female journalists living on opposite shores of Mare nostrum. This place is the Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists. Which for us is a sea that unites, and not divides. A sea that we do not want to be a grave but a cradle of ideas and talents.
I imagine a sea on whose shores everyone can look out: and from one shore to the other speak, understanding each other.
This sea for the past two years has also been navigated by the stony words of women journalists working in crisis zones, in hot spots of social, political, and environmental conflicts. They, the women journalists whose work represents garrisons of Democracy, therefore of peace, with those words of stone from one side of the Mediterranean to the other create bridges, not walls. Because where there is Information there is Democracy, therefore peace. Yet those female journalists are threatened, insulted, attacked. They live under escort, suffer the gag of reckless lawsuits. Their skin is flayed by the fatigue of precariousness. Of the underpaid or unpaid, unpublished pieces. Yet they persist in keeping their dignity as female journalists straight. That as such, they also suffer gender-based violence, that is, violence directed at them as women. Such are the offenses on social media, the hate speech, and the impatience with them by a public accustomed to the reassuring image of the journalist who does not trespass on topics that are considered typically male.
Yet women journalists go on, rowing against the tide in the sea that does not seem to be made for them.
So did Daphne Caruana Galizia. Dedicated to her is the second edition of the Mediterranean Women Journalists Forum, which I wanted to take place on the eve of November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women.
Daphne, rowed against the tide. Denouncing the gray area of politics, corruption and mafia that is not worth illuminating. And he was investigating a pipe, Tap, that carries not only gas, but bribes, malfeasance, gags on journalists and citizen dissent.
Instead at the Forum we will demand #TruthforDaphne, yet another victim of a global #PressPhobia, which pervades Italy more than other countries. And we will illuminate that shadowy area that the state, absent, and in its absence become mafia, has not illuminated.
3430 are the threats toward female journalists that have gone unpunished in Italy. He surveyed them and studied oxygen for Information. All female journalists participating in the Forum have suffered them, in various ways.
And this cannot happen in the EU. It cannot happen in Italy to be forced to suffer intimidation and threats, even the most subtle ones for one’s work. It cannot happen in Malta, that we die of journalism. It cannot happen in any Democracy. How long will governments remain indifferent? As long as journalists are so in regard to what happens to their colleagues.
We are not. How about you?