The same article appeared in the French Magazine “L’Oeil de l’exilé” of La Maison des journalistes in the link below:
Coinciding with the Press Freedom day, an elegant ceremony was organized by Rosita Ferrato at the Headquarter of Federation of Journalists of Piemonte, Italy, to launch a cultural Association with the name CAFFE DEI GIORNALISTI (Café of Journalists). Ferrato, a well-known and experienced Italian Journalist, created this Association after getting inspired by the hospitality of Maison Des Journalistes (MDJ) of France.
Alberto Sinigaglia, President of Federation of Journalists of Piemonte region opened the debate by congratulating Rosita Ferrato for formally opening the CAFFE DEI GIORNALISTI despite deepening economic crisis which pose real problems of funding and financial support for cultural Association. It is really heartening that such genuine initiatives are coming out in such difficult scenario. She needs our applause for her courageous project which will go a long way in promoting press freedom and freedom of expression in Italy, he said.
Rosita Ferrato in her speech thanked the journalists for their support and keen interest in her project. while responding to a question posed by Alberto Sinigaglia at the end of his speech, she said that this initiative is different from previous ones initiated by others in the sense that it is an International or global project where a network of local and foreign Journalists from around the world (particularly from Europe and North Africa) will establish links, share ideas and information with each other on rapidly changing political, economic and social scenario. CAFFE DEI GIORNALISTI will promote the arts, music and culture of Italy by organizing concerts and musical shows and other events where journalists will enjoy Italian culture and exchange ideas. So, the spirit is International with regional perspective by promoting the arts and culture of Turin, she elaborated.
Focusing on her future plans, she told the audience that a Music & Journalism event will be organized in June this year at Esperia Club, Turin. She invited the Italian journalists to visit the website of Caffe dei Giornalisti which is open on this historical occasion to celebrate the Press Freedom day. http://caffedeigiornalisti.it/
Ferrato made a particular mention of Maison Des Journalistes from which she drew her inspiration. It was the hospitality of the MDJ which impressed her most. MDJ protect and help the journalists from around the world by providing them a safe home at the heart of Paris, where the victims journalists meet and exchange views with journalists in similar situations of danger . She was proud of her partnership with MDJ and wanted to further cement this relationship in the days to come. She thanked Fazal-ur Rehman Afridi for representing MDJ at the ceremony. Caffe dei Giornalisti is not only a network of journalists to share experiences, tell stories and explore their journalistic talents. Everybody can write and get information about journalism in different countries and regions
Mr. Luciano Borghesan, vice-President of Circolo Della Stampa congratulated Rosita Ferrato for organizing the event and her creative endeavor. The number of Journalists present shows the interest of the journalist community and the popularity of your initiative, he said. He pledged his support by offering the two Coffee shops of the Circolo Della Stampa as physical locations where the journalists can meet, share views and take a cup of coffee.
A brief presentation on the freedom of press in the world was presented by a young Italian journalist. Which elaborates that every year many journalists are abducted, imprisoned, tortured and killed only because they want to present truth to the world. Reporters without Borders issue its annual report every year in January to elaborate the Freedom of Press situation around the world. According to its latest report, only 66 countries out of 197 are considered to be free. 19 journalists have been killed so far this year while 66 journalists were killed in the World in 2011, while performing their professional duties.
China with the 40% of the world population is considered worst. USA and UK have been downgraded due to severe repression of occupy wall street demonstrations and muzzling of media after recent London riots respectively.
Italy has been down graded to 61 due to its repressive policies for journalists, where many high ranking journalists were barred from appearing on National Televisions due to their criticism of Berlescuni government. The board of governors of the state-owned RAI television network had suspended political discussion on its three channels for a month in the lead-up to the elections. The move—which was viewed by some as a politically motivated attempt by Berlusconi’s government to limit potentially critical commentary—was officially attributed to the difficulty of ensuring “equality of treatment” for all parties. Freedoms of speech and of the press are constitutionally guaranteed. However, Berlusconi controls up to 90 percent of the country’s broadcast media through state-owned outlets and his own private media holdings.
In countries like Pakistan Intelligence Agencies operating with impunity, constitute a major threat to press freedom. The Pakistani spy agencies that have repeatedly been implicated in monitoring, abduction, torture and murders of journalists. The 2002 execution-style murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl drew attention to the links between Pakistan’s intelligence services and extremist groups, including Al Qaeda. Pakistan is ranked 151 in Freedom of Press-Index one point lower then even war-torn Afghanistan.
According to annual report of Freedom House, a Washington-based a Human Rights and democracy advocacy group, Global freedom suffered its fifth consecutive year of decline in 2010. “Our adversaries are not just engaging in widespread repression, they are doing so with unprecedented aggressiveness and self-confidence, and the democratic community is not rising to the challenge.” “This should be a wake-up call for all of the world’s democracies,” said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House.
The ceremony ended with an extract from the famous book “Self-Portrait of a Journalist”, by KAPUSHINSKY(Poland), presented brilliantly by VALENTINA Pollani (Theatre Actress). ” Professionalism means that you must consider/accept the other people’s intelligence”.