The testimonial of the journalist Roberto La Pira who received an Ossigeno gratuity for legal fees
Finding out that there is a booth for freelance journalists and chief editors of small newspapers that assists you at the legal level when a defamation lawsuit arrives in your office was a pleasant surprise. I felt less alone when faced with a large company like Italkali which asked for 10 million euros in damages.
Yet in the newsroom we had done things well, we had relaunched on the Ilfattoalimentare.it website the news disseminated by Italkali itself about the withdrawal of a lot of salt from supermarket shelves suspected of being packed in contaminated cardboard boxes.
We had also rectified the news with a second article, a few months later, when the measure was revoked by the health authority following a review of the analysis.
It has been puzzling to see a claim for damages so late in the day. Trying to understand is not useful. When they want to sue you and create a climate of panic they do it. Discovering Ossigeno was important, because you feel less alone in an unequal contest with these large industrial organisations . Receiving a gratuity to contribute to legal fees, which are substantial nevertheless for a small publisher, helps. It helps to know that there are other freelance colleagues who are brought to trial on a vexatious pretext and that there is a group of journalists and lawyers to lean on.