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declaration of intents

1. to be aware that the media are not free
In the new media age freedom of information is guaranteed to some extent by constitutions and laws but in reality the media are manipulated, other-directed, conformist. Journalists lose their role of witnesses to reality and are transformed into conduits for the transmission of the messages of others. The reader, the viewer and the listener are reduced to the role of unaware objects, without any rights. Now, the media identify ever more with their ownership.

2. there is no democracy without independent information
Western democracies cease to be so in the absence of such a basic requisite of democracy as independent information. Now, the political game, especially in Italy, is visibly fixed through the manipulation of public opinion. We fought so hard for free elections, we need to start to fight for free opinions, that is to say, freely formed opinions.

3. the three powers of the “public sphere”: for a new separatism
In modern societies, the comprehensive “public sphere” is composed of the political and state apparatus, the economic power, and the media power. These three powers, rather than being separate, are intricately intertwined. The public should be made aware of the damage created by the extreme distortion of information caused by the dependence of politicians on legal and illegal sources of financing, the damage generated from other-directed information by those economic and political powers; the damage created to the market by political bureaucracy and dependence on public financing.

4. citizens, readers, consumers
We must establish, almost from nothing a “right of readers” who are currently not protected either as citizens (they are not guaranteed pluralistic or independent information) or as consumers. And yet, as buyers of goods, they are “consumers” (moreover, consumers of a product that is much more delicate than other goods because it conditions the public mind and the health of the democracy) and therefore, as consumers they should have at least the same kind of rights as buyers of any other consumer good, as regards transparency, the absence of commingling of interests, the absence of polluted news.

5. information on the net
The Internet is the greatest medium that has ever existed, in terms of the size of the targeted public, and it is characterized by the absence of a strict separation between users and producers of information: anyone, in a few clicks, can read and produce. Information on the Net runs, therefore, along horizontal lines that constantly intersect the vertical lines of the traditional media and that, being horizontal, escape the logic and mechanisms of control which have, thus far, prevented the press, radio and television from freely exerting their fundamental role in any democratic country: the creation, through the free and independent reporting of the facts and of history, of a civil consciousness in the people, transforming them from passive subjects of democracy to its protagonists. Defending freedom of expression on the Internet means to defend this hope.

6. a policy reform
Among the urgent reforms needed to safeguard democracy is real reform, legislative and otherwise, that will build five structural conditions, both to ensure freedom of information and to establish the rights of readers and consumers: 1) establish the relevance of primary interest of a free and independent information, as a necessary component for the existence of a political democracy; 2) be aware that the freedom to inform can be ensured only by an actual plurality of sources; 3) pursue a policy that has as its aim the maximum possible separation between the powers of the "public sphere" and thus also between the economic power and that of the media; 4) recognize in the "information good" a status different from that of a simple consumer good, and then build a unique and specific form of governance for media companies which tends to progressively implement the principle of separatism between ownership of the means of journalism and its management, including through intermediate steps such as taking away the owner's control over informational content. 5) consider as fundamental the presence of the reader-consumer among the protagonists of communication.



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