365 such days


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Today, the Italian press that has always worn a muzzle, decided to also don a gag. It did so to protest against the gagging law. It’s a bit like a rapist taking to the streets to protest against a rape, or a serial killer protesting against a multiple murderer, or a robber protesting about a bank heist. It is a beautiful July day. The atmosphere is decidedly less oppressive, without all of the usual paper scrawled with nonsense lying around in the streets, don’t you agree? I am so pleased about this strike that I would like to see it being repeated 365 days a year. The newspapers are funded via our taxes, without which they would have to shut down. Given today’s strike, I think it’s only right that their annual funding be reduced by one 365th. What use are the newspapers anyway? All they do, in any event, is seek to influence public opinion on behalf of their owners and send mafia-style messages as required. The newspapers should not be confused with true information. Newspapers and true information are totally incompatible. Where the former exists, the latter is nowhere to be found. In the past few years, the only true information has been spread by the bloggers, the Web and the counter-information sites, certainly not by Scalfari’s “La Repubblica” or De Bortoli’s “Corriere della Sera”, or for that matter even the PDwithouanel’s “L'Unità”. Newspapers have been rendered obsolete by the Web, just as the telegraph rendered the Pony Express obsolete so many years ago. In order to be able to publish an article, the newspapers have to somehow juggle the interests of their shareholders, which are essentially the reflected wishes of the lobby groups, and the demands of the Board of Directors, Management, the editorial committee and the Chief Editor, and then they can go ahead and type a load of nothing (at best) or perhaps a promotional piece. Where then is freedom of expression? Has anyone at the “L'Espresso” ever conducted an investigation into the Olivetti’s demise at the hands of Carlo De Benedetti? Or, for that matter, did the “Corriere della Serva” ever publish an editorial against Tronchetti Provera WHILE he was Chairman of Telecom Italia? The newspapers are busy dying like flies in winter. They only manage to survive thanks to the warmth provided by public funding (*). “Libero”, “Il Foglio” and “Il Riformista” would disappear overnight were it not for our tax Euros. The worst political attack against Berlusconi was the ten questions regarding his sex life. At the initial hearings in the Mills, Bassolino and Dell’Utri trials, there was only a blogger reporting on the proceedings, namely, Daniele Martinelli, while the newspapers maintained an obsequious silence. The citizens are the only ones spreading any information at all. The journalists register must be abolished. All of us are journalists. It is nothing more than a register established by Mussolini in order to control the regime press and is no longer necessary in this day and age because every career journalist has a (inherent) strong self-control mechanism of his own. My dearest useless rag reporters, where were you guys when this blog broke the news of the Aldrovandi, Rasman, Bianzino and Gatti murders years before you timidly and cautiously began to write about this affair? Were you perhaps ensconced under the editor’s desk doing a Lewinsky on him instead of backing the call for a referendum for the abolishment of the Gasparri Law at the second Vday event? Today’s strike reminds me of a bunch of lemmings committing mass suicide, so let’s all hold thumbs and hope that this gesture is very successful.
(*) Except for "Il Fatto Quotidiano", which has refused to accept any public funding

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