Bad News from Italy. Ossigeno review – 23rd  to 29th September 2023

Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italian

From Ossigeno per l’Informazione, monitoring centre on intimidation and threats to journalists and blacked-out news

OSSIGENO 30 September 2023 – This week Ossigeno discusses about:Cesare Minniti, Debora Borgese, Gianfranco Leonarduzzi, and Fabrizio Dall’Orso

The year 2023 is off to a bad start. In Italy in the first six months of 2023 the Ossigeno observatory documented threats and intimidation against 234 journalists and found confirmation of a diminishing willingness to report the intimidation and threats suffered. Ossigeno presented this data and told eight paradigmatic stories on Monday 25th September. We invite you to read the report of the day here and the complete report here and to review the video of the conference.

The risky climate in which many journalists work in Italy is also confirmed by the concrete episodes reported this week on attacks in Reggio Calabria, lawsuits  that turned out to be spurious in Udine, Catania and Rome. And there are also other signs of this problematic climate resulting from an absolute lack of countermeasures against intimidation and abuses. Signs, for example, of contempt for the function and role of journalists, of their rights to disclose facts of public interest and to ask questions. Among these signals, the diversionary and offensive response given on the 25th  September by the Minister of Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, in Brussels to a specific question from a journalist. “I understand – she told him – that you belong to a privileged category and don’t realize what concerns ordinary citizens, who live on low income salaries” (see here).

There was also a remark from the magistrate Nicola Gratteri, the new public prosecutor of Naples, who in Modena, at a conference of the Italian journalists’ union, pointed out the need for a more precise and energetic self-defence of the category in the face of the coming in to force  of new rules, such as the so called Cartabia Reform, which introduced new limitations to judicial reporting in the name of the presumption of innocence (see here). All this while in the European Parliament there is a growing willingness  to introduce both rules that would allow an extensive  use of spyware to monitor journalists and at the same time anti-SLAPP rules naively viewed as the panacea for all the ills, including the Italian one of the unchallenged spread of the intimidating use of criminal defamation lawsuits which can only be remedied by significant actions by the Italian Parliament, long awaited.


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