In Rome area more threats to journalists than the national average

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Ossigeno monitoring data says that it is specially true for the use of SLAPPs  – The intimidations detected in year 2021

OSSIGENO 2nd May 2022 – Lazio is the Italian region in which Ossigeno per l’Informazione in 2021 has detected and ascertained the largest number of serious attacks on journalists and bloggers. The figure confirms a constant trend since 2017.

In the period January-December 2021 Ossigeno recorded 30 threatened media workers, equal to 22% of the 136 cases which the Observatory was able to thoroughly verify the intimidations. Overall, during the year, Ossigeno surveyed 384 threatened bloggers and journalists in Italy. (read here)

GENDER OF VICTIMS. The percentage of Lazio is thus divided by the gender of victims: 63% men, 37% women.


  % of total No. of cases Men Women
2021 22 30 63% 37%
2020 40 145 67% 33%
2019 24.5 62 61% 39%


TYPES OF THREATS. According to the Ossigeno Monitoring Method (read here) it can be said that one third of the threats can be classified in the context of violence and two thirds in that of abuse. In Lazio, intimidation complaints against journalists were more numerous than the national average: 67% of the total threats are represented by legal threats and abusive litigation, compared to the national figure of 48%. Even compared to the previous year, the figure is growing: in 2020 this type of threat was equal to 11%. In absolute numbers, there are 20 cases in Lazio out of 65 total cases. In particular, there were 13 libel lawsuits that affected 10 men and 3 women; seven were sued for damages considered instrumental (4 aimed at men, 3 at women). On the other hand, violence includes warnings (17%), physical assaults (10%) and non-prosecutable episodes of obstructed access to information (7%).


See here the graph of the data


  Legal threats and abusive litigation Warnings Physical attacks Obstructed access to information Damage
2021 67% 17% 10% 7% 0%
2020 11% 76% 8% 1% 5%
2019 55% 39% 6% 0% 0%

LAZIO ALARM – In light of the data on serious and repeated acts committed in order to hinder the freedom to inform and be informed about facts of significant public interest, Ossigeno has repeatedly drawn them to the attention of national and local institutions. Already in 2017 it underlined the urgency to intervene to protect the activity of media workers in a region where 10% of the Italian population lives and where the major national political institutions and numerous economic, productive and social activities are based (read the dossier Alarm Lazio 2017). The Rome Press Association also recently asked for greater protection for the safety of journalists (read).

THE INCIDENTS DOCUMENTED BY OSSIGENO The incidents documented by Ossigeno in the Lazio region are available at this link. Here are some of them:

  • Ossigeno recorded many incidents in which journalists and bloggers were insulted, attacked, hindered in their work during protests against the measures taken by the authorities to fight the pandemic. The attack on Selvaggia Lucarelli, on November 20th 2021 at the Circus Maximus in Rome is perhaps the best known.
  • After publishing a report on Sudan, the journalist Antonella Napoli, director of Focus on Africa, received some anonymous threatening phone calls in Arabic.
  • The Brazilian Jamil Chade, sent to Italy to follow the G20, was prevented from filming the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, during a walkabout in the historic centre of Rome.
  • The journalist Sigfrido Ranucci, deputy director of Rai3 and host of the Rai Report investigative programme, has received death threats which, according to investigators, come from a prison inmate linked to the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime syndicate and the far right. This is why Ranucci has been living under police guard 24 hours a day since August 2021.
  • The journalist Ilenia Petracalvina, correspondent of the RAI program ‘La Vita in Diretta’, was insulted and threatened while carrying out a report on the investigation into the death of Willy Monteiro Duarte, beaten up and killed in 2020. Her video operator who recorded the attack on her was whacked in the face.
  • The journalist Clemente Pistilli of “La Repubblica” was insulted and threatened on social media after the publication of an article in which he disclosed some statements by a “collaborator of justice” who accused the leader of Fratelli d’Italia, (a right wing political party) , Giorgia Meloni, of having paid in 2013 leading figures of a criminal clan in Latina.
  • Eni demanded the newspaper “Domani” pay one hundred thousand euro within ten days in partial compensation for reputational damage caused by an article considered defamatory.



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