THE BLOG

Freedom of the Press!

09/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This is the first time in Italy after Mussolini's fascism that the press is really under attack. Prime Minister Berlusconi, who owns almost the totality of the media in Italy, at the moment has no strong political antagonists to oppose his intention to silence the press. From his Villa Certosa in Sardinia, a world-famous location for the erotic parties of the old minister, this past week he has launched an "anathema" against the TV programs of four brave journalists that are broadcast on Rai (Italian Public TV) Channel 3. These are the only programs in Italy criticizing his government. They are broadcast of course very late at night but still have a very large audience. To completely control the press Berlusconi has decided to push the Board of Administration of Rai to change the director of Channel 3 and substitute him with one of his men.

The freedom of the press exists in every democratic country and only in countries where there is a "junta," like Iran or Burma, are journalists silenced. La Repubblica, the daily newspaper that has published 10 daily questions for Berlusconi (that he has not yet answered!) for three months, two days ago was denounced for slander, together with its publisher Gruppo Espresso, for questioning the premier with the 10 questions.

Immediately after this though, three of the most important constitutionalists of Italy have launched an appeal for the freedom of the press that was published on La Repubblica and collected 100,000 signatures in one day. The attack to the "unfriendly" press by Berlusconi crossed even the Vatican border as last Friday the daily newspaper Il Giornale, owned by him, published a news about the director of L'Avvenire, the Vatican major newspaper. In this article, defined from the Archibishops "false and disgusting", the director of Avvenire was reported for nuisance perpetrated to the wife of his presumed lover. Yesterday it came out that the news is false, as testified also by the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The truth is that Italy is living the darkest moment of its history after the fascism and the media are the only true danger for the premier. Corruption is in every corner, nothing works in the country, people, especially the majority of the young, survive without thinking of their future, there are thousands of people loosing their jobs and the quality of living is worst and much more expensive than in any other western country.

But Italians get used to everything, finding always some philosophical reason for every abuse of power they have to go through. "It is the government, the politicians, the church, our history, our karma, etc. " and you can go on for hours finding always new sources of guilt. Most of the Italians are also very immature and childish and still wait for Santa Klaus to come and bring the gift of freedom. It has happened during the centuries many times, last time during the second World War.

But we cannot keep giving the guilt only to the others. Is the Italians' responsibility, and stays in our hands the power to rise up our voices and create a large unity to fight against these abuses and defeat this "mafioso" mentality. This can be done only through a healthy and strong education and a correct information, although at the moment the government is dismissing 20,000 teachers who have worked in the past years without a permanent contract.
This is why in Italy there is an urgent need for a strong and unite movement to stop this barbarity. For this to happen everyone should make an improvement, even a small one, just thinking that the country belongs to the Italians and not to the government.