By Alberto Spampinato*
On behalf of Oxygen for Information, I wish your Forum well as it provides us with an important opportunity for reflection.
It is useful and important to give voice to women journalists who testify to the particular difficulties in which their work is carried out, amid gender and other discrimination, harassment, assault, and threats.
It is important to listen to the voices of those who have suffered violence and abuse for collecting and disseminating information about criminals, corrupt people, and powerful figures.
It is important to learn from first-hand accounts that these problems occur in war zones as well as in countries at peace, and not only in the most authoritarian ones, but also in democratic ones such as Italy.
But to solve these problems at the root, it is equally important to study the causes of all this.
Science teaches us that to understand phenomena we must go beyond recording the individual events by which they occur. According to this principle, medicine does not merely collect the voice of the sick, but studies the disease that unites them.
With the same approach, for the past ten years, “Oxygen for Information” has been observing and studying the epidemic of threats and intimidation against journalists, the intolerance for freedom of the press and expression that is taking place in Italy without the authorities yet intervening to stop it.
How long can this unjustifiable indifference last?
Not much, because it is now being talked about more and more often and with increasing competence and awareness. It is certainly one of the effects of the undercurrent work of Oxygen and conferences like yours. I believe it is thanks to initiatives like ours that something is finally beginning to change in our country. It’s about time, after Oxygen produced unrefuted and undeniable documentation on 3430 cases that have gone unpunished in Italy over the years.
Good work to all
*Journalist, director of the Oxygen for Information observatory, sponsored by the FNSI and the Order of Journalists