The company of today presents itself to our eyes more and more globalized, more and more informed and computerized. Some, precisely for this reason, have spoken of cognitive capitalism or the economy of information, to indicate the importance of information in modern society.
Today information is money, information has a price, not only purely and strictly economic, but often also moral and emotional. That is why I ask myself and I ask you: is information always a value? Or, in certain cases, and under certain conditions, can it be considered a value?
Because, even if it is true that there may be a public interest in knowledge, behind such an interest there may well be the interest of an individual, bearer of a personal interest, and therefore of the same rank with respect to the public interest in knowledge, and therefore equally relevant and worthy of protection.But after this premise we go with order, often we take for granted some concepts that are not taken for granted at all.
Let me explain better: what is a freedom? What does it mean to be free? And again, to what extent can I assert my freedom? A freedom can never be understood as absolute, it cannot go so far as to cancel the freedom of others, and above all, being free cannot mean being above all limits and rules.
Here, if infinite facets can be hidden behind the concept of freedom, even more can be behind the concept of freedom, because you see, only when the press is truly free can you say you are in a democracy, a state is truly democratic only when it provides guarantees such as to make the press and other means of expression of thought, such as the internet and social networks free, autonomous and independent.
The freedom of the press is one of the first rights of freedom that has been claimed and guaranteed by liberal and Enlightenment civilization.
It presupposes that the free and rational man in front of different statements and positions is able to judge autonomously what is good, and what is true.
In essence, there cannot be a power, a public or private subject who decides what, how and when citizens should learn about a certain news, but it must be the citizens themselves who choose how and from what source to inform themselves, in complete freedom and autonomy.
In this sense, the freedom of the press is the object of an express constitutional guarantee, in fact, our Constitution, in article twenty-one, states Everyone has the right to freely express his or her thoughts with the word, the written word and any other means of dissemination.
But not only that, we could cite numerous supranational and international sources, which recognizes everyone’s right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to support personal opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and teach information and ideas through any media regardless of whether it crosses borders.
Freedom of the press is not only a subjective but also a social right, it requires, in fact, on the one hand a liberal and democratic power that recognizes it and does not hinder it, and on the other hand a complex and articulated society full of many voices capable of reaching the ear of the masses, because the dialogue between different points of view, between different opinions and sources satisfies not only the right to free expression of thought, but also the specular right of the citizen to free and plural information, and it is only in this way that a vigilant and qualified public opinion can be formed.
Restrictions on the freedom of the press, in this light, are admissible and justified only in cases of repression of criminal conduct expressly provided as such: such as the disclosure of secrets, offenses to morality, or defamation.
Qualifying press freedom as a fundamental and fundamental element of democracy, stating that it cannot be the object of pitfalls aimed at undermining its full autonomy and reducing the role of journalism. A credible press free from the conditioning of public and private powers, publishing companies capable of supporting the effort of innovation and expansion of the use of journalistic content through new media, is an important tool to protect democracy. This awareness must be able to guide the action of the institutions.
In my opinion, substantial guarantees are necessary for the freedom of the press, fundamental to avoid the danger of an absolutist drift. The free and plural press must be the limit for the absolutist drift of all power and balance between the powers of the press.
Today’s society is the victim of misinformation, which influences and provokes the masses often, unfortunately, towards social hatred and intolerance in order to manipulate and distort reality, diverting attention from real but most of the time uncomfortable events. The journalist, at this point, becomes the guarantor of those essential rules which constitute the bastion of democracy and which, instead, are disregarded in order to obey different logics whose aims are much less noble and pure.
In conclusion, regardless of any debate, one can only agree that the unity of measure of democracy within a state is constituted by the correspondence to the facts and the correctness of information.