BAD NEWS from Italy| 13 April 2018

This newsletter presents the last news originally published by Ossigeno per l’Informazione about attacks and violations of freedom of the expression and the media in Italy as well as in other countries. Also included are initiatives to tackle the issue with a review from international organisations in the field of freedom of expression

Top news

Dunja Mijatović takes up office as Council of Europe Commissioner for H.R.
She is the first woman to hold this post, succeeding Nils Muižnieks (2012-2018). She will “react rapidly and effectively to protect people’s human rights”. Wishes from Ossigeno 

New fund to support EU investigative journalism launched
A fund of up to €450,000 to support cross-border investigative journalism in the European Union was launched on 19 March 2018 by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and the International Press Institute (IPI).

Last attacks in Italy

Arzano: “Silence” a man with a pistol orders a journalist
Giuseppe Bianco was in his car outside his house. The reporter of Il Roma was examining the possible infiltration of organised crime in the recent local elections.

Wind farm: at Tolve two reporters from Basilicata 24 attacked
Giusy Cavallo and Michele Finizio pushed and shoved in order to force them to suspend filming and taking photographs. A mobile phone destroyed. The attack was reported.

Missing persons in Mexico: RAI2 correspondent denied an interview and now under protection
“We’ll throw acid in your face” was how they threatened on Facebook the journalist Claudia Marra after the cancellation of a live broadcast with the RAI2 programme I Fatti Vostri.

Potenza: Sexist insults toward a political reporter of “Roma”
The journalist was following the activities of the municipal council. A note left on the windscreen of the car and an intimidating phone call to an editor of the newspaper.

Crotone : “Go away” A journalist of LaC roughed up
Giuseppe Laratta was carrying out a reportage on the preparations of a tent city for homeless persons in a municipal structure. The incident reported. Solidarity of the union.

Ardea: a correspondent of La7 carried away like a sack of potatoes
She had been conducting for PiazzaPulita an investigation in the Le Salzare neighbourhood into commercial activities based in illegally constructed buildings which do not pay taxes to the municipality.

Reggio Calabria: Videoreporter attacked in front of the police headquarters
Mario Idone (Med Media News) was filming three persons coming out having been charged with homicide. Attacked by two men. Video camera damaged.

Sink holes in Rome- Journalist from Radio One News assaulted by developer
Simone Zazzera wanted to know if he had conducted excavations in the sealed building site after the collapse. The man ripped off his glasses and threw them into the road.

Sabaudia: the car of the sociology correspondent, Marco Omizzolo, destroyed
Persons unknown damaged his car during the night. The reporter and sociologist has reported the attack. “My commitment against exploitation will continue” he told Ossigeno. He also met with the board of FNSI

Bloody Money: Fire at the Bar and the house of relatives of reporters of Fanpage
Investigations to determine if the fires were arson. Damage to the house of the sister in law of the director Piccinini and to the bar owned by the parents of the video-reporter Carmine Benincasa.

Palermo: stones thrown at the car of the correspondent of “Striscia” whilst filming drug-dealing
It happened in the Zen neighbourhood. Vittorio Brumotti and his team were unharmed. The roof of their armoured car was smashed. Perhaps the vehicle’s side was hit by a bullet. It is the ninth attack.

Rome: Let us speak. Demonstrators of Forza Nuova put pressure on La7

About thirty militants at the entrance to the TV studios, several inside. Stopped by the police. The refusal of the anchor-man Giovanni Floris (DiMartedi) to admit uninvited guests.


Sicily: Lirio Abbate absolved in the dispute with the assessor of the economy
After six years, the claim ruled to have no merit. The deputy director of L’Espresso had been sued by Gaetano Armao for an article on salary limits.

Legal assistance

Complaint, confiscation and damages for criticism of the Brioni company in crisis
Preventive confiscation of 7 files linked to an article in Dispute with the author. Damages requested from the editor

Free legal aid: why is Ossigeno defending D’Agostino
The free legal aid office of Ossigeno has decided to provide legal aid to the reporter Mauro D’Agostino to whom the publisher of the online newspaper is not providing this form of assistance even though the article which the well-known company of male clothing is disputing has been published by its newspaper (read here the details).

What the foreign press says about Ossigeno

Le Monde. “In Italy journalists under police protection”
The report written by journalist Thomas Saintourens presented data collected by Ossigeno and interviews with Marilena Natale, Giovanni Tizian, Daniele Piervincenzi and Alberto Spampinato

OZY. How Italy is saying “basta” to fake news
Journalist Lidija Pisker, in this report about the situation of fake news in the country, interviewed our Secretary Professor Giuseppe Federico Mennella for the daily international online newspaper based in California.

Columbia Global Freedom of Expression. Pro bono defence for journalists: two legal defence centres fighting for press freedom in Italy
Ossigeno per l’Informazione and the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights explain their work for journalists and non-profit associations who face legal charges or need legal assistance

Review of news from partners and international organisations

Ad hoc report on Slovakia is out: “a possible failure of the system”
On 7 March 2018 the European Parliament sent an ad hoc delegation to Slovakia to show solidarity and to make their presence felt after the murder of young journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. The report of this fact-finding mission is out now.

Journalists are wary as Slovak government declares investigation of Ján Kuciak murder a priority
Journalists in Slovakia are doubtful as to whether there will be an independent investigation of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, despite Prime Minister Robert Fico declaring it his priority. The slain journalist’s recent investigations and writings did involve the names of associates of current top Slovak government officials.

Media freedom organisations and MEPs back new anti-SLAPP law
Six members of the European Parliament have called on the European Commission (EC) to swiftly initiate legislation to protect investigative journalism in Europe.

From IPI
Groups demand strong EU response to journalist murders
IPI joins call on European Commission to ‘step up efforts’ to protect journalist safety

Roberto Saviano and the unacceptable price of exposing corruption
Italian journalist Roberto Saviano was chosen as profile of the month since he has paid a high price for exposing organised crime in Naples; but although the protection measures under which he now lives have drastically restricted his life, they have not silenced his pen.

2017/2018 World Media Trends Report now available
The World Media Trends Report analyzes developments across the four key focus areas of media freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists.

UNESCO and EUAM cooperate to train law enforcement officers in Ukraine on freedom of expression and safety of journalists
UNESCO organized for the first time with the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) in Ukraine a training for law enforcement officers on freedom of expression and safety of journalists in Kiev from 13 to 15 February 2018, in collaboration with several Ukrainian ministries and organizations from the civil society. This is the first training for security forces that UNESCO organised in Europe.

This newsletter has been relased with the contribution of Ilaria Fevola

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