Postcard from: Perugia International Journalism Festival


From 21 to 25 March 2007 Perugia has been the theatre of the first International Journalism Festival in Italy.
Italian and international journalists have participated in conferences and round tables open to the public, discussing a wide variety of topics in today’s journalism. The Festival managed to bring together professionals from different journalistic perspectives and traditions to the general public. Students, media representatives and people interested in current affairs attended the debates offered by the programme; “War photo journalism and press freedom”, “The role of the media in a democracy in an era of global war”, “Political journalism on television” were some of the titles.

On Friday 23 March Marco Travaglio, an Italian journalist currently writing for the daily newspapers L’Unità and La Repubblica  and author of “The Smell of Money” (2001), an in-depth look at the origins of the wealth of then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, presented his latest book, “The Disappearance of the Facts” (2006) . Many people had to wait outside of the packed conference room as he explained what he called the “manipulation tactics” used in Italian journalism. Italian media landscape is characterised by an oligopoly of sources of information and by the fact that the same journalists are victims of a conflict of interests. Many of them choose partisan positions to accommodate politicians or to keep their job, avoiding talking about inconvenient facts and covering scandals that citizens should have the right to be informed of.