The Ossigeno Report 2021-2022 on threatened journalists in Italy

Italy. Many threats, no countermeasures

OSSIGENO – June 9th 2022 – The direct monitoring data – Support for threatened reporters – News, statistics, analyses, proposals – Political immobility – The MAP project with UNESCO

Freedom of the press and the rule of law – The long list of unsolved problems

We are the first in Europe in terms of the number of journalists under threat. We do not adopt countermeasures; we do not take steps forward, but some backwards – The inertia of politics and parliament – The spur of the Constitutional Court – The silence of the media – Ossigeno’s figures and reassuring official statistics

Information and the rule of law. How Italy has wasted the last few years

The Ossigeno analysis delivered to the European Commission during the 2021 consultation to prepare the first “Report on the rule of law”

Some questions that await answers

Ossigeno is unable to discern clear and convincing explanations of some incidents and invites others to furnish elements


Ossigeno monitoring identifies 384 journalists threatened

27% are women – in some regions the intimidation pressure is much higher – most intimidation consists of reckless lawsuits and abusive court proceedings

248 journalists who are victims of “probable” threats may need help.

But Ossigeno does not have the necessary funds and therefore it publicises these incidents and invites other organizations and institutions to take their cases up and to make the results public.

Threatened female journalists: 105 in 2021, 27% of the total

Who are they and what do their stories say – Often there is a sexist component in these attacks. There are numerous examples – Reckless lawsuits make up 55%

The regions with the most threatened journalists. Lazio remains the black sheep since 2017.

Also in 2021. Abusive litigation is the most used form of intimidation and here they are above the national average – the figures – The most relevant incidents.

Legal aid provided by Ossigeno. The cases of 2021 and 2022

VIDEO. “No more impunity!”  The UNESCO / OSSIGENO round table of 3rd November 2021 in Syracuse, Italy


A small case illuminates the “minefield” in which journalists work in Italy. We refer here to the dismissal of the lawsuit begun by the mayor of La Spezia against the journalist Paolo Frosina – The ordeal of unfounded lawsuits – Many statistics are purged of these incidents which represent at least half of the intimidation in Italy.


Monitoring Assistance and Protection is the new project carried out in partnership with UNESCO’s Global Media Defence Fund. Here are some results obtained between January and April 2022

 Peer-to-peer support actions for journalists in difficulty. What are they?

Advice, opinions, free “peer-to-peer” consultation to help the journalist to get his or her bearings, provided by experts and journalists who know the problems and/or who have had similar experiences

Support actions for 461 journalists

In the same period, 104 articles and 203 posts were published on social networks that reached 120,000 users

170 journalists threatened in Italy between January and April

This is the tip of the iceberg – 70% have suffered violence. 30%, abusive lawsuits – 60% of the threats come from individuals and private associations, 20% from organised crime.

The probable threats to 52 Italian journalists identified by Ossigeno between January and April 2022

Ossigeno records them inviting others to verify the circumstances and ascertain whether those threatened need assistance.

Some proposals from Ossigeno

The presentation of the 2021-2022 Report at the Casa del Jazz in Rome


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