Interview with Peter Greste: Media freedom and the war on terror

“In a war of ideas, the battleground becomes the place where ideas are prosecuted: the media themselves,” said Peter Greste, opening his talk at the International Journalism Festival on 9 April, 2016.

In a crowded Sala dei Notari, the award winning Al Jazeera journalist and former BBC, CNN and Reuters correspondent delivered a presentation touching upon the delicate topic of the war on terror carried out by international governments and its effect on the work of journalists and other media professionals.

“Since the war on terror began, governments around the world have been using the T-word as an excuse to clamp down on human rights – he said – Journalists are attacked not for what they report on, but for what they represent.”

His talk was all about remarking the vital bond between a free press and democratic society. According to Greste, at present media are failing to make a case for their role in democracy and are putting competitiveness ahead in their agenda.

“We should unite to defend journalism and press freedom as fundamentally important to democracy – he said – Because a press that is not free can never be anything but bad.”

In the brief interview below, Greste explains the definition of terror as “globalized McCarthyism.”