The Mediterranean is a mirror for many of our problems – the Arab spring was not followed by a happy summer – and Rome has a pivotal place in this picture as a link between north and south. The seminar “Italy for the Mediterranean region – information and development” opened at the foreign ministry in Rome with a speech by ANSA President Giulio Anselmi, and was organized by the ANSA news agency within the context of the 21st general assembly of AMAN, the alliance of Mediterranean news agencies.
“The Mediterranean is a sea that mirrors many of the problems of the day”, said Anselmi. “To the north we see Greece, Spain and Italy, we see problems that go beyond the euro zone and that are also social ones, the consequences of which are being felt in the Mediterranean region, but also in the rest of the world. The crisis that we call the Arab spring did not end with a happy summer; much of northern Africa and the Middle East is still in flames, and not everywhere is there silence – once again this morning we’ve had news of victims in Syria”.
Dramatic confrontation between old and new media
“Our news network”, Anselmi continued, “is hot, as much for the kind of job it is as for the things that are happening. The Arab spring led to a dramatic confrontation between new and old news media; it brought out our strengths and our weaknesses, tested credibility and speed, and at times we lost out to Twitter”. According to Anselmi, “Italy is a link between north and south, re-appropriating a role it had lost. And ANSA, having the largest news network at its disposal, pursues a line of development that has allowed us to invite you here to talk about topical issues and to compare notes on our work”. “In the face of the crisis of traditional information”, the president concluded, “it is important to reason together on how to develop and on the role of communication; sharing ensures success”.
Knowing each other better for stability
AMAN hailed the return of Libya, absent since 2003, announced foreign ministry spokesperson Carlo Schillaci, who conveyed a welcome message from Minister Giulio Terzi, on a mission in Lebanon, asserting that “knowing each other better encourages stability, thanks not least to this network of journalists in the Mediterranean, a highly fertile terrain. Opportunities such as this one are essential, and that is why we were especially interested in holding these sessions here at our ministry”.
In the debate dedicated to Italy’s development within the Mediterranean context, President of the Calabria Region Giuseppe Scopelliti underscored that “politics must be able to think ahead and imagine the future, to look beyond national borders. The major development opportunities lie in the southern part of the Mediterranean”. “Within this framework, the role that our diplomacy can play is critical, he underscored, thanks especially to the “dynamism of our ambassadors”; “but it is necessary today to interact with the regions and businesses of the world in order to sustain development”, asserted Lazio Region President Renata Polverini; and according to Campania Region President Stefano Caldoro “communication is the future of the Mediterranean and we, as a region, want to play a leading role in it”.