The new owner of weekly L’Espresso sues 2 journalists for sending him questions
He defined the questions submitted in writing by Nello Trocchia and Giovanni Tizian as specious and invasive. Ossigeno expresses solidarity with the reporters
OSSIGENO April 14, 2022 – The entrepreneur Danilo Iervolino, who acquired ownership of the weekly L’Espresso from the GEDI publishing group, refused to answer ten questions submitted to him in writing on March 24th 2022 by journalists Nello Trocchia and Giovanni Tizian of the daily “Domani”. Through his secretariat he replied that he would sue them for those questions. Iervolino maintained that they were “instrumentally specious”, they violated his privacy and probably were also the confidential matters of a judicial investigation. The alleged facts cited, he stated, “are known neither to the undersigned nor to his lawyers appointed in the related proceedings”.
The journalists of Domani disclosed the text of the questions and the reason for the refusal, pointing out the behaviour of the entrepreneur as a violation of the right to report news.
Even the journalists of the L’Espresso editorial office protested publicly with a note (read here) in which they expressed solidarity with their colleagues from Domani and defined Danilo Iervolino’s behaviour as “not compatible with the minimum standards of journalism”. “What would happen – they wrote – if all the next interviewees of our magazine reacted in the same way as Iervolino in response to simple questions? Our fear is that they would feel entitled to sue us “.
OSSIGENO expresses solidarity with Nello Trocchia and Giovanni Tizian and shares the concerns of the journalists of L’Espresso, noting that, although it is not frequent, it is not the first time that in Italy public figures subject to the attention of journalists have filed a lawsuit even before something has been published brandishing the right to defend one’s reputation as a threat. It is, therefore, worth remembering that even the information of journalism is based on a codified right: that of freely receiving, gathering and disseminating information, as stated in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
THE INCIDENT – Nello Trocchia and Giovanni Tizian published their investigation on March 28th 2022 in Domani with the title “Mister Espresso’s business, this is who Danilo Iervolino is” (read here) for which they had sent the ten questions to the entrepreneur , in order to obtain information, comments and clarifications on some phases of his career and clarifications on some of his activities, (read here). Two days later, Danilo Iervolino’s secretariat replied with the refusal to answer and a warning. The text reads: “In relation to the questions you have submitted to us, I would first like to point out that they appear to be characterized by a manipulative equivocation that reveals a clear defamatory intent masquerading as the canons of truth, criticism and relevance. This would make every answer completely useless and serve only your ill-concealed intentions to cloak yourselves with a simulacrum of a duty to control sources and the right of reply. But what is more serious, and which prevents any answer, is that the questions themselves contain not only depictions violating privacy but above all possible violations of the confidentiality of the judicial investigations “. Therefore, the secretariat concludes: “We can do nothing else but report to the investigating authorities the contents, which in part are not even known either to the undersigned or to his lawyers appointed in the relative proceedings”.
Ossigeno contacted the authors of the investigation who preferred not to comment.
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