Cercavano la verità (They sought the truth) collects and presents in an integrated way the stories of thirty Italian journalists killed by mafias, terrorism and conflicts abroad.

It was conceived to be more than a simple archive, more than a single access to existing information in no particular order on the events that led to the deaths of these thirty men and women. It is, instead, a tool at the service of collective memory which must be constantly nourished to increase knowledge and improve understanding of the facts, to preserve documents and testimonies and collect new ones, to prevent memories from fading from one generation to the next and losing the sense of things. Therefore, Cercavano la verità also offers texts, reconstructions, and testimonies that tell the human and professional history of these media workers killed in the course of their work.

With this approach, recounting thirty individual stories one by one, Cercavano la verità tells only one story: that of journalists united by a boundless passion for the profession of journalism and a civic commitment to the search for truth. “Many stories, one single story: They sought the truth” is in fact the slogan with which Ossigeno has distributed since 2014 the Memorial Panel which contains the names and faces of the killed Italian journalists.

The web site collects biographies, developments in legal actions to identify those responsible, bibliographic references, webography, documentaries and articles relating to the stories of individual reporters. It provides the opportunity to get to know each one through a multimedia path of testimonies and images.

Cercavano la verità intends to be a point of reference for students, journalists, scholars, non-experts, all those who are looking for information on the subject or want to participate in the process of continuous updating of the contents to make the overall picture and knowledge of the phenomenon more and more complete. The battle fought by so many courageous journalists to affirm the right and duty to inform has had an enormous human cost and teaches us what and how many risks are run by those who seek and publish uncomfortable truths. It is necessary to remain vigilant on this aspect and keep alive the memory of those who paid such a high price so that politicians, institutions, citizens, younger generations and journalists themselves, each according to their own responsibilities, become aware of the importance of more actively safeguarding journalists and protecting the right to information also on a legal basis to reduce the almost absolute impunity at present of those who deliberately obstruct this right which is fundamental for democracy.

Cercavano la verità is, therefore, part of the wider campaign of Ossigeno per l’Informazione, an observatory on journalists threatened and news obscured by violence, created in 2006 with the aim of documenting and analysing the growing number of intimidations and threats against Italian journalists engaged on the front line in the search for the most covert truths. In addition to the activity of its Observatory which has documented 4031 cases of threats and intimidation against reporters in the last 14 years in Italy, Ossigeno offers, among other things, legal aid, continuing professional development training and concrete help to colleagues to break the isolation suffered by those of them who suffer intimidation and retaliation for their work.

Visit the Ossigeno website