“Newspapers should be unpopular, i.e. tell the truth even when it can be dangerous for your life or career. It was the last lesson of Ferruccio De Bortoli as Director of Corriere della Sera. Words, however, that speak of a mission, a purpose, too often at odds with reality. As despite repeated U.N. appeals, the awareness campaign of Reporters without Frontiers, the judgments ruled out by the Strasbourg Court, on press freedom in the world is getting worse. The latest report released by Freedom House, just a few days ago, gives ample proof on this. According to the NGOs, international journalists are having to face more and more pressures and restrictions by governments, activists, crime and editors with interests in political and economic nature. They often pay with their lives for their commitment, suffice to say that last year only, 118 were killed.
The study’s coordinator, Jennifer Dunham, explains that in 2014 “governments have exploited the laws on safety and on the fight against terrorism, as a pretext to silence all critics, while pressure groups and criminal gangs have increasingly risorted to implementing petty tactics to intimidate journalists and media owners, attempting to manipulate the content of the information to their political or economic purposes”. About 199 countries passed the survey, 63 are considered to have “freedom” of information while 71 are described as having “partly freedom” and 65 “donot enjoy any freeedom”. This means that only 14 per cent of the inhabitants of the world live in a context of freedom of the press, 42 per cent with partial freedom of the press and 44 percent with o freedom of the press at all. In America, according to the report, within the countries with greater freedom, the situation has worsened in the past year because of the arrests and ill-treatment inflicted on reporters by law enforcement during the demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, to protest against the murder of the young African American Michael Brown.
Italy falls among the states enjoying a limited freedom of the press in all Eurpe as well as Greece. This is due to the suffocating financial policy intervention in newsrooms, the threats of organized crime and the conflict of interest that characterises some publishing groups. It is no coincidence, then, that the latest Rsf ranking we have fallen by 24 positions, even lower than Nicaragua and Romania. According to the report, in our country, in 2014 the journalists ‘ situation has worsened dramatically, “with a large wave of attacks on their property, in particular on cars. In all, there were 43 cases of physical assault and 7 cases of arson, assaults on houses and cars in the first 10 months of 2014 “. RSF says that even unjustified lawsuits against journalists for defamation has increased: from 84 in 2013 to 129 in the first 10 months of 2014. In most cases the causes were ascribed to politicians “.