On May 8th 2018, in recognition of the 25th World Press Freedom Day, Ossigeno per l’Informazione and the Authority for Communications Guarantees (AGCOM), in collaboration with the Order of Journalists of Lazio and with sponsorship from UNESCO, organised a town hall meeting in Rome at the Sala della Protomoteca of the Campidoglio. The meeting, with more than 200 media professionals in attendance, opened with a video message from Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the UN. Speakers included Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, president of the senate; Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome; and Marcello Angelo Cardani, president of the communications watchdog group Agcom. They stressed the need for legal reform to keep up with technological advances, as well as the chilling effect of economic, physical and legal threats to the profession. According to UNESCO’s most recent report, “92% of journalists killed were not war correspondents but local reporters who conducted investigations in their own area which they knew and lived in.”
Other highlights of the day included a round table on “Information about organised crime: risks to journalists and protection systems” and a presentation by Corinne Vella, the sister of Daphne Caruanna Galizia the investigative Maltese journalist killed in October 2017, who spoke about state’s responsibility to protect journalists.
Video of the event and transcripts are available here.
A report on the findings of the Town Hall meeting, is available here.