Posts Tagged ‘Media Freedom’

‘When the press is gagged, the reader must read between the lines’

16 February 2011

Contributed by Niamh Cullen

In a time of political crisis, when real power eludes us or there is huge uncertainty about what we want or how to solve our problems, words may be the best weapon we have. It is journalism and editorial comment that so often articulate the mood, and the concerns of a society, and through words – whether printed or increasingly online – that we manage to reflect meaningfully on what is going on, and even to sketch out, discuss and debate ideas and possible solutions. The value of good editorial commentary – whether in national newspapers or blogs; Fintan O’Toole or Ireland after Nama – has become increasingly clear during Ireland’s recent years of political crisis. The more immediate Egyptian crisis is another, urgent indication of the importance of courageous, independent voices, even if their medium is more likely to be Twitter than newspapers.

The outspoken antifascist Piero Gobetti attempted to play this role in Italy during the early years of Mussolini’s rule, trying desperately to raise the Italian people’s political consciousness, before his premature death on February 16 1926, eighty-five years ago today.

Born in 1901, this ‘boy wonder’ of Turin began his career as journalist and editor at the precocious age of 17, and at a time when Italy was in a state of chaos. Read More