BAD NEWS from Italy | Ossigeno Newsletter 27 November 2018

This newsletter presents originally news published by Ossigeno per l’Informazione about attacks and violations of freedom of expression and media freedom 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

Why is the deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio attacking journalists
It has to be asked if it is not a pre-meditated provocation in order to gain advantages in the bigger game with publishers. The editorial by Alberto SpampinatoRead

Defamation. Three draft bills under discussion in the Parliament
Two proposals were tabled by Senator Primo Di Nicola of Five Stars. One punishes vexatious lawsuits against journalists; the other extends their professional secrecy. A third proposal is by Valter Verini of Pd. Read

A record for a defamation case: 24 years to end the trial
The Supreme Court has punished for reckless litigation those who kept two journalists in limbo and abused the trial process by diverting resources away from the protection of rights. Read

Cassation Court puts a brake on unfounded legal claims and penalises those who pursue them
Lawyer Andrea Di Pietro comments on an innovative judgment by which the Cassation Court has adopted the concept of “punitive damages” and the abuse of the process coming from the United States legal tradition. Read

The Government speaks. A press conference held without questions
A robust protest by the parliamentary press association on the occasion of the presentation by the government of the revisions to the economic and financial document (DEF), insisting upon “Guaranteeing the rôle of journalists”. Read


The person who threatened the journalist Guastella has been arrested
He has been charged with private violence aggravated by the methods of the mafia. The incident happened in the courtroom of the Court of Appeal in Syracuse and was immediately reported. Read

Protection to reporter threatened with death
Gianni Festa is the editor of the daily newspaper Quotidiano del Sud of Avellino. He was threatened. The same threat was directed at Federico Festa, who had been working in Benevento for some time. Read


Last attacks in Italy

Ossigeno has confirmed 4 other threats on 31 October 2018
The journalists Antonino Monteleone (Lazio), Filippo Mele (Basilicata) and Stefania Petyx and cameraman (Sicily) have all been victims. From 1st January to 31st October 2018 Ossigeno has verified and documented 226 unjustifiable attacks of the same type. Read

Ossigeno has ascertained 10 more threats – 15 November 2018
The following journalists are victims: Lirio Abbate, Bruno Manfellotto, editor of L’Espresso (Lazio); Gianni Festa and Federico Festa (Campania); Roberto Di Meo and Roberto Canè (Umbria); Pino Guastella (Sicily) and Federico Ruffo and Sigfrido Ranucci (Lazio). Read

Ostia: attempt to set fire to the home of the RAI Report journalist
Persons unknown spread petrol on the landing and drew a cross on the wall. Federico Ruffo, in a recent broadcast of Report (RaiTre) had spoken about the judicial investigation into extremist fans, the organised crime syndicate (the ‘ndrangheta) and Juventus football club officials.Read

Scanzano Jonico. Filippo Mele under police protection
A constant guard is required for Filippo Mele the doctor and journalist who received an anonymous envelope containing a bullet after the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno published his accounts of an anti-Mafia blitz. Read

Palermo. Team from the “Striscia” programme attacked by illegal occupants
Stefania Petyx was thrown down the stairs, the video operator chased and the video camera destroyed, in a building in Via Giuseppe Savagnone in Palermo. Read

Ostia. A Spada is evicted, followed by insults to Federica Angeli
The journalist was attending the police operation together with other journalists. Her police escort considered it prudent to move her away. Read

Migrants against a team from tv Rete4 in Rome at Termini Station
The journalist Angela Camuso and the two video technicians who were with her were attacked whilst doing a reportage for Stasera Italia. Read

Legal Defence

Ossigeno has taken the legal defence of journalist Concita De Gregorio with the support of MLDI
The journalist, former chief editor of l’Unità is a victim and a living demonstration of a serious problem revealed in 2015 and still unresolved which afflicts all Italian journalists. Read 

She was sued by Mediaset for an article by Travaglio published by l’Unità in 2008 when she was the chief editor. The legal proceedings she is facing are sumed up in this dossier. Read

Outside Italy 

Protecting whistleblowers and journalists. Seminar in Ghent

Ossigeno will take the floor. The key speech note will be delivered by Prof. Dirk Voorhoof

EFJ: newwhistleblowers directive must be amended
It has been asked in an open letter sent by, among others, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to the European institutions that are currently discussing the new whistleblowers directive. Read

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This newsletter has been relased with the contribution of Ilaria Fevola
For comments or inquiries please email us at


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