Internet threat to journalism

31 May 2000 – PressWise expresses its whole-hearted support for the following announcement by the FNSI – the National Federation for Italian Press – which appeared in today’s editions of The Guardian, Le Monde, Liberation, El Pais, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

Europeans demand decent and reliable news, but the autonomy, freedom and jobs of journalists are at risk. Fair information and reliable sources are indispensable in forming public opinion and for the future of Europe. Journalists want to be able to provide quality news stories; responsible, accurate, and straightforward. Journalist want to be able to use new technology to give more information to citizens, readers and consumers. Journalists want to be able to contribute a meaning to the flow of information; to make information a truly useful right. For months now, negotiations for the journalists’ contract in Italy have been at a standstill. This is not a corporate battle: it is the right to unadulterated information which is at stake. Publishers harbour this strange idea of being able to produce news, especially on the Internet, avoiding the professional mediation of journalists. If this idea continues, who will guarantee readers the authenticity of the news? Old threats are looming; let’s clear the air.

(Bulletin No 19)

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