Italy. Wall slogans against woman journalist who writes about organised crime

First they tried to delegitimize me saiyng there was a sexual video on me, she tells Ossigeno. Solidarity from local institutions

OSSIGENO 24th June 2022 – Offensive slogans attacking her on the walls of the city of Manfredonia in the province of Foggia and defamatory rumours about her reported to the chief editor of the Foggia newspaper ‘L’Attacco’, which publishes news on what is happening in Puglia and in particularly in Foggia. In the crosshairs is the journalist Lucia Piemontese, main editor of ‘L’Attacco’, who on April 28th 2022 in Manfredonia discovered insulting and sexist writing on a wall on the seafront. Thanks to the assistance of a friend, the writing was immediately removed. But in the following days, three other messages of the same tone and content were made with spray cans: two at the seaside resort Siponto and another next to the main door of the journalist’s home. The latter was done deliberately in broad daylight while the journalist was at home.

These incidents were reported to the police and publicised with an article in ‘L’Attacco’ (read here).

THE REPORTER – Lucia Piemontese tells Ossigeno: “The first intimidation occurred two months ago, when my chief editor was told that an alleged sexual video was circulating that would see me as the protagonist. I did not allow myself to be intimidated and continued to work as an investigative journalist. For some time I have been dealing with the mafia clans operating in the province of Foggia, (also known as Capitanata), those of the so-called fourth mafia. The feeling is that, after unsuccessful attempts at sending ‘invitations’ to me to write about something else and not to follow anymore the local criminal clans, there is a strategy of delegitimizing me precisely to discredit my work, trying to attack my reputation with even the absurd innuendo that I am linked to the opposing clan”.

SOLIDARITY – Strong solidarity immediately arrived from the Order of Journalists of Puglia and from Assostampa Puglia, who issued a statement: “The writings, some with a sexist background to de-legitimize her, are once again proof of intolerance towards information” (read here). Solidarity was also expressed by the world of local politics and by the Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, Monsignor Franco Moscone.

 Ossigeno per l’Informazione expresses solidarity with Lucia Piemontese and supports her decision to report immediately the threat to the police to identify those responsible. As the observatory has documented several times, providing local news becomes more difficult each day and   provincial journalists are the most exposed link in news-gathering, the weakest one, but their work is irreplaceable and allows us to know what is happening in areas where the national press cannot reach. GB wt

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