International day of Sports Journalist: “I tweet, therefore I am”

by Gianni Merlo, AIPS President, La Gazzetta dello Sport

On a box ring, in Paris, AIPS was founded, 94 years ago, on July 2

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 2, 2018.- Cogito, ergo sum,“I think, therefore I am” was the basic tenet of French philosopher René Descartes about four centuries ago. He formulated the first modern version of mind-body dualism, from which stems the mind-body problem, and because he promoted the development of a new science grounded in observation and experiment, he is being called the father of modern philosophy.

But now, we are in the era designed by the guru of the Silicon Valley where the motto is “I tweet, therefore I am”. The most important thing is “to post something”, it does not matter what, but post. Now everybody is free to “post”, to “express” themselves, it does not matter if what comes out is clever or foolish or fake. When you post, you show the world, your special world, that you exist and you have a personality as well as ideas. Good ideas, bad ideas? It does not matter, but you express yourself anyway. And this is the real fake freedom…

On this World Sports Journalists Day, I remind all our colleagues that it is vital for our profession to invest in culture, to avoid being put in a corner and held hostage by the people who have the power and want us to only be servants of their hidden wishes. We have a dignity to defend. We are working every day to defend the rights of the young generations so they can have a better future. Sport brings the feeling of joy, friendships and culture. Look at what is happening these days in Russia with the World Cup, the great atmosphere. We have to defend this even by tweeting, but in the right way.

A tweet is only the beginning of a process, not the end. The tweets are used for promotion and it must be clear. We must not be afraid of the new technology, we must only use them properly. We are living in a hard time, but we must not give up. Our profession is still vital and important, but we have to decide between the fake and garbage journalism (inspired by power) and the real one, the cultural one; that is the only one directed at a better future for the next generations. We must not be selfish, instead we must look to the future with a tweet of a new hope.