Mass medias are the leading cause of anxiety and depression. This is what the EuroDAP association (which studies panic disorder) said in 2011. An impressive figure and also confirmed by other research, such as that carried out by BuoneNotizie.it in collaboration with the Catholic University of Milan, which estimated that negative news generates a cost of 200 euros per capita for the National Health Service, necessary to treat these diseases.
More recently, a survey done by students of the University of Insubria on the credibility of the different professions in Italy, established that the profession of journalist is less credible than that of the hairdresser. That of the blogger, last in the ranking, is lower than that of a caregiver, in the penultimate position. 55% of the same sample of respondents say that information no longer involves as before because it spectacularizes everything in order to get attention.
And again, according to the Reuters Institute Digital Report 2017, 47% of users said they no longer inform themselves because the news has a negative effect on their mood. Publishers wonder why we no longer buy newspapers. They make us feel bad and we should also pay for them.
These are the issues that I brought to the attention of the Undersecretary with responsibility for information and publishing Vito Crimi, on the occasion of the penultimate day dedicated to the States General of Publishing. A disturbing scenario in which information pours from the deontological point of view not only in Italy but all over the world.
The aim is to raise awareness of the need to adopt new and more appropriate deontological rules that allow citizens to be informed in a more correct and less anxious way. Who loses is the democracy itself, as also stated by Roberto Basso and Dino Pesole in their book, fresh from print, “The Perceived Economy” in which they make an analysis of how information has made us perceive the economic and political reality different from what it really is, on which the electoral choices were based.
A scenario also confirmed by Nando Pagnoncelli, president of Ipsos, in his book “La penisola che non c’è”, based on an international survey that highlights how the citizens of the various countries have a perception of the facts often very distorted and far from the truth.
The second phase of the States General of Publishing has just ended, the one of the auditions of the various actors in the news supply chain. I hope that a new phase will open, also in Italy, as has already happened abroad in precursor countries such as the United States and in northern Europe, in favor of a more constructive journalism. Better late than never.
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