European Federation of Journalists

Italy: Concern after authorities search Rai 3 editorial office and home of journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in expressing serious concern over the searches carried out by police at the offices of Rai 3’s investigative programme ‘Report’ and the home of investigative journalist Paolo Mondani. We urge the Italian Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate (DIA) to provide assurances that the confidentiality of journalists’ sources will not be jeopardised and to reaffirm its respect for the principles of press freedom. The MFRR joins the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana, the Unione Sindacale Giornalisti Rai and the Ordine Dei Giornalisti in raising alarm about the heavy-handed actions…

MFRR Mission report: who is afraid of journalists in Italy?

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined its partner organisations in the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in publishing a mission report focusing on key challenges facing press freedom in Italy. The report followed a three-day fact-finding mission to Rome, Naples and Arzano from 4 to 6 April 2022, which was led by the Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa. The delegation’s findings were published today and launched at an event organised by the MFRR featuring a representative of the European Commission, as well as our Italian affiliate, the Italian Federation of Journalists (FNSI), Articolo 21 and the Italian Order of Journalists.…

EFJ to join press freedom mission to Italy

From 4 to 6 April, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) will join partner organisations of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) in Italy for a fact-finding mission focused on two main topics: safety of journalists and state protection measures on one side, and SLAPPs against journalists and the need for comprehensive legislative reforms of the framework of defamation and media freedom on the other.  In collaboration with local partners, including the Italian National Federation of Journalists (FNSI), the journalists’ association Articolo 21 and the Chamber of Journalists, the MFRR delegation will address these issues from different perspectives and with…

Italy: Solidarity with harassed TV reporter Greta Beccaglia

Journalist of Toscana TV Greta Beccaglia was groped by a football fan while she was reporting live from the Empoli vs Fiorentina game in Empoli on 27 November 2021. The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) joined its Italian affiliate, the FNSI, in strongly condemning this intolerable attack and calling for solidarity with Greta Beccaglia. The female journalist was interviewing fans pouring out of the Empoli stadium after the match when one fan approached her and slapped her on the backside – live on Toscana TV. Beccaglia reacted calmly, saying “Sorry, you can’t do this,” and professionally continued her…

Italy: Journalists face fresh violence covering ‘green pass’ protests

The undersigned partners of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) are highly concerned about yet another series of violent attacks and threats to journalists and media workers covering protests against the government’s pandemic-related measures across Italy.  Several incidents of hostility and violence towards media were reported in Rome on 9 October, when journalists and photojournalists were attacked while reporting on a protest by anti-vaccine and far-right groups against government measures to require all workers to carry the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Photojournalist Francesco Cocco, a contributor to daily newspaper Il Foglio, said he was deliberately kicked in the groin and…

Italy: Defamation law must be reformed

A year after the Constitutional Court ruled on the unconstitutionality of prison sentences in cases of defamation through the press, on 22 June 2021 the Court issued a follow-up decision declaring art. 13 of Law 47/1948 (Press Law) not compliant with the Constitution. The Court has however declared art. 595(3) of the Penal Code, which provides for a sentence between six months and three years of prison or the payment of a fine, compliant with the Constitution, as it allows the judge to order the imprisonment only in cases of “exceptional severity”. In June 2020, the Constitutional Court invited the Italian…

Italy: massive violation of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources

In March 2021, three NGOs, Save the Children, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Jugend Rettet, have been probed by the prosecutors department in the Sicilian city of Trapani for aiding illegal immigration. In the course of this investigation, the police and prosecutors engaged in a massive violation of the confidentiality of sources of dozens of journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Italian affiliate, the FNSI, in demanding an explanation from the Italian authorities. According to reports in the Italian press on 2 April, investigators seeking to establish links between migrant rescue operations at sea and traffickers apparently…

Italy: cameras banned from Ndrangheta maxi trial

Italy’s largest mafia trial in three decades has begun, following a four-year long investigation into the Calabrian organised crime syndicate ‘Ndrangheta and its alleged affiliates networks, in Italy and abroad. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Italian Federation of Journalists’ unions (FNSI) and the Union of RAI journalists (USIGRai) condemned the decision of judges to ban cameras from their courtroom. Not allowing video recordings of Court proceedings means denying a pillar of the story. It also means preventing the construction of the memory of a historical fact for Italy and Europe. This is what is happening in the “Rinascita…

Major step forward in push to scrap prison sentences for criminal defamation in Italy

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins MFRR partners in welcoming the decision by the Italian Constitutional Court to refer a decision on whether to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation in relation to journalists and media workers to the Italian Parliament. On 9 June 2020, the Court held a long-awaited public hearing into the constitutional legitimacy of Article 595 of the penal code and Article 13 of the law on the press, ruling that while reform was necessary, it was the responsibility of Parliament to amend the legislation. The Court ruled that while a “complex balancing operation” was required…