European Federation of Journalists

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.

Thanks to all its partner ARTICLE 19, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the International Press Institute (IPI) and OBC Transeuropa (OBCT) the mission explored lights and shadows of the situation of media freedom in the country. Particular attention was given to the assess the legislative delays that are preventing Parliament from responding to the repeated calls of the Constitutional Court in reforming defamation laws, and to get to know the coordinated State monitoring and protection system implemented in Italy for intimidation acts against journalists, a good practice mentioned in a recent Recommendation of the European Commission.

“While journalists in the field are facing more risks,” said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez, “while they are asking for more protection, while the criminal police are registering a strong increase in threats against journalists, Italian policy makers remain passive, as if indifferent. Hence the title of our mission report: Who is afraid of journalists? Why are they not given the protection they deserve?”