FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Paradoxes of Italian Journalism

by ALESSANDRA V. MASSAGRANDE

If you work in history you are an historian, if you work in archive you are an archivist and if you write for a newspaper you are a journalist, in the rest of the world but not here in Italy.

If you want become a journalist, in Italy, it is complicated. The ODJ (order of journalists) is a public corporation with access rules strikingly different from the rest of Europe.

The state exam uses abstract criteria which show only the knowledge of concepts, but not anything useful for those who really work in a newspaper. Those who pass this arbitrary exam are included in a register of journalists.

So, the Order does not guarantee the quality of work. Publishers should choose journalists based on skills and competencies, not the state exam. This would be logical, but the logic does not live here. In the rest of Europe, journalism follows the logic of the market, of the associations and unions and the State mostly does not interfere.

Before Italy’s state exam can be taken, aspiring journalists must undergo eighteen months of paid apprenticeship in an editorial office. If in the past it was difficult now due to the economic crisis it is almost impossible. No paid apprenticeship no state exam.  And without that slip of paper you are not really a journalist.

There is also a registery of freelance journalists. To became a freelance journalist in Italy you must have done eighteen months of paid apprenticeship, this time without the state exam. But the critical issue is the same. Instead of the apprenticeship, before the state exam, you can choose a school of journalism. But they are also very expensive and not entirely useful for those who want to work on a newspaper.

As a result, there are many young people who write for many years as unpaid workers and are deluded by the promise of the apprenticeship. Also the Italian laws are constantly changing,  a fact that encourages abuse and exploitation. This is another great contradiction in my country: a degree or an state exam, often useless and expensive, versus real skills. Now, there is some debate occuring but no real change. Journalism seems destined to remain the prerogative of a few.

Alessandra V. Massagrande is a historian living in Bologna.


More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail