Freedom House: tutta la verità

Il Tubo Canonico - di Nick


Venerdì scorso, in seconda serata, si sono scatenati i commenti e le reazioni alla trasmissione RockPolitik , alla conduzione di Celentano, ma soprattutto al contestatissimo report dell'americana Freedom House sullo stato dell'informazione italiana. Tale documento, già noto ai fans di Beppe Grillo in quanto fulcro documentale dei suoi spettacoli itineranti, è sconvolgente poichè un'istituzione di indubbia attendibilità e provenienza (la Freedom House è statunitense ed è stata fondata sessant'anni fa dalla moglie del Presidente Roosevelt, Eleanor e annovera fra i sostenitori numerose fondazioni di fama internazionale) pone l'Italia al 77° posto (insieme a Bulgaria, Mongolia, Filippine e Bolivia), nella graduatoria mondiale della libertà di stampa. Siamo circa a metà classifica: al 194° posto, per la cronaca, c'è la Corea del Nord.

Attenzione: sottolineo libertà di stampa, non politica o civile. Sembra una precisazione superflua, ma...

Venerdì sera, su RaiDue Gigi Moncalvo si è attivato - insieme agli ospiti Luciana Sbarbati e Luciano Stanca - per dimostrare come in italia sia assurdo mettere in discussione la libertà individuale (vedi sopra) e come siano morti tanti giornalisti liberi (da Peppino Impastato a Vittorio Bachelet, passando per Walter Tobagi), sia per mano della mafia che dei comunisti armati... non certo per permettere a Celentano di dire certe sciocchezze.

Zapping.

Su Tv7 (RaiUno), un giornalista ha seguito la trasmissione di RockPolitik seduto al fianco di Fabrizio del Noce. Del Noce, sui titoli di coda, abbastanza irritato spiega che "da tre anni, ovvero da quando ci sono io, non è mai accaduto che non venisse pattuita la linea editoriale di un programma" (...) "Celentano è uno squilibrato" (...) "Permettere la trasmissione di una cosa del genere è la dimostrazione che in Italia esiste libertà di stampa, cosa che non sarebbe certo avvenuta se avessero vinto i comunisti".

Zapping.

Su Italia1 Maurizio Belpietro conferma la serietà della fonte e spiega che - nell'era di Internet - la cosa più facile è quella di visitare il sito di Freedom House per verificare in prima persona le motivazioni di tale, incredibile retrocessione. Belpietro cita agli ignari spettatori che, in realtà, la classifica è una gaffe della sinistra: si basa infatti sulla condanna al carcere - oggettivamente sproporzionata rispetto al reato di diffamazione al quale sono stati incriminati - dei giornalisti Massimiliano Melilli (per alcuni riferimenti alla moglie del sindaco di Trieste, Illy, del centrosinistra) e dell'eurosenatore Lino Jannuzzi, di Forza Italia. Questi episodi, continua Belpietro, dimostrano che se qualche libertà è stata violata, certamente non è stato a scapito della sinistra e, comunque, la classifica non si basa certo sulla presenza di Berlusconi...

Da telespettatore/navigatore, ho colto al volo l'invito del direttore de Il Giornale a documentarmi personalmente. Di seguito, sono a riportare testualmente quanto ho potuto reperire sul sito di Freedom House: sono certo che chiunque comprenda l'inglese, scoprirà quanto le informazioni siano interessanti e quanto sia stato azzardato Belpietro a trarre certe conclusioni...

Western Europe: Western Europe continued to boast the highest level of press freedom worldwide; in 2004, 23 countries (92 percent) were rated Free and 2 (8 percent) were rated Partly Free. Nevertheless, in 2003 Italy joined Turkey as the only countries in the region to be rated Partly Free. It was the first time since 1988 that media in an EU member state have been rated by the survey as Partly Free, and in 2004 media freedom in Italy remained constrained by the dominant influence of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s media holdings. During the year, the media environment in most countries remained stable, while Turkey saw a modest numerical improvement. A new press code, coupled with revisions made to the penal code in September 2004, led to an easing of the legal environment for the Turkish press during the year.

(...)

ITALY: partly free

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT: 9
POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT: 13
ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT: 13
TOTAL SCORE: 35

Freedom of speech and the press are constitutionally guaranteed. Legislators moved in July toward abolishing prison sentences for libel, a development welcomed by media organizations, but the proposed amendments have yet to be adopted. Politicians and their allies filed several libel suits against journalists during 2004; in February, journalist Massimiliano Melilli was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay 100,000 euros (US$124,400). In July, a 76-year-old journalist and senator was placed under house arrest, relaxing his 2002 sentence of 29 months’ imprisonment for libel. Press freedom organizations criticized two separate government raids on journalists’ homes and offices, owing to the journalists’ refusal to reveal their sources for controversial, investigative reports.
Most press outlets are privately owned but are often linked to political parties or run by large media conglomerates that exercise some editorial influence. In December, journalists at Italy’s leading and highest-selling daily, Corriere Della Sera, protested increasing editorial interference and pressure in the newsroom from its shareholders. The newspaper is owned by RCS Mediagroup, in which 15 of Italy’s major conglomerates have a stake. Concerns about the concentration of media ownership have been an issue since the election in 2001 of Silvio Berlusconi, a media magnate and Italy’s wealthiest individual, as prime minister. The print media, which consist of eight national newspapers, two of which are controlled by the Berlusconi family, continue to provide diverse political opinions, including those critical of the government. However, Berlusconi controls or influences six of the seven national broadcast channels. Mediaset, a company in which he has a major interest and the largest private broadcaster in the country, owns three national channels, while the state-owned network (RAI), traditionally subject to political pressure, controls three.
Questions continue to be raised about the political impact of Berlusconi’s control of the media. The Osservatorio di Pavia, an independent media watchdog, reported that in the month of February, Berlusconi’s presence on television accounted for 42 percent of the time dedicated to politicians. During the year, the head of RAI, Lucia Annunziata, and one of its star television broadcasters, Lili Gruber, quit in reaction to Berlusconi’s domination of the media. A long awaited conflict of interest bill, which was intended to resolve the contradictions between Berlusconi’s private business and his role as prime minister, was passed in July. Although the bill limits the managing control politicians have over their holdings, it does not bar them from owning companies. As a result, the bill, which was criticized as being toothless by critics, will have little impact on Berlusconi’s media empire.
In April, the parliament adopted a law on broadcasting reform, known as the Gasparri Law, which ostensibly introduces a number of reforms, such as the switch-over to digital broadcasting (scheduled to take place in 2006) and the partial privatization of RAI. The law was initially vetoed in December 2003 by President Carlo Ciampi, who was urged to do so by media organizations claiming the law threatened press freedom and undermined news pluralism. Although the revised law has a clause that limits the maximum revenue a single media company can earn, it excludes interests in publishing, cinema, and the music industry. Critics of the law still say that it reinforces Berlusconi’s power over the media. The new law also allows one of the three Mediaset channels, Retequattro, to continue terrestrial broadcasting. The decree runs counter to a 2002 Constitutional Court ruling that demanded the channel switch to satellite by January 2004 to ensure competition. The shift to satellite would have led to a considerable loss in the station’s market value.

Il corposo documento è disponibile on-line - in formato .pdf - a questo indirizzo.

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