Culture and information are essential for the survival of our values

Occasions such as the Penna d’Oro prize constitute the opportunity to “be an example” indicating ways and projects

I would have liked very much to have been with you but regrettably Government duties render it impossible. If not present physically I shall be at the Penna d’Oro award in thought.  Founded in 1957 in memory of Giovanni Papini, it is the oldest and most prestigious Italian recognition bestowed by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Over the years, it has honoured the most distinguished cultural protagonists of our country. It is an invaluable occasion, serving not only to honour those journalists who have distinguished themselves enlivening events and places by their reporting; it is also an occasion to evaluate that type of journalism and free information at the service of truth, that which has always been a guarantee for democracy, indeed it is journalism itself which is the essence of democracy, arguments well known to those reporting from difficult war zones, where liberty is still a utopia and those who have devoted and lost their lives, defending the passion and coherence of professional choices. Culture and information are essential for the survival of our values, put to the test in multiple areas, from tragic news chronicles aimed at instilling fear and hatred, to globalisation seen as an annulment of diversity even distorting social and educative models. Journalism is essential above all when it becomes an exclusive witness, originating, profound and rich in hope of our history, of our identity. Representatives of the best in journalism, are examples of inspiration for many generations approaching the world of information. And it is precisely to youth that I dedicate my most heartfelt thoughts reiterating my institutional commitment; occasions such as the Penna d’Oro award constitute an opportunity to “be an example” indicating courses of action and projects. As a member of government assigned to that incredibly rewarding ministry of sport and its many responsibilities and it is precisely the  territory of the award which will be called upon to welcome the marvellous experience of Universiadi 2019. .In what way is this sports challenge connected to this highly regarded, recognised and honoured journalistic and literary award?  In many ways as it deals, above all, with a sports challenge which gathers young worldwide university students, presenting Italy and Naples with the extraordinary occasion of demonstrating organisational talent and skills evidencing, history, energy and experiences which always accompany the great sport adventure. It is my wish that there are many golden pens reporting these stories, this energy and these experiences and that the success of the award is also the success of the many youth arriving in Naples for this extraordinary sports experience.