Report: Urgent action needed to protect press freedom in Europe

Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists. The report, “Democracy at Risk”, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public. The 12 Platform partners…

FNSI Congress

The EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez will attend the congress of the Italian Federation of Journalists’ Unions (FNSI).

Italian journalists assaulted by neo-fascists in Rome

On 7 January 2019, Federico Marconi and Paolo Marchetti, an Italian journalist and a photographer both working for the Italian weekly magazine Espresso, have been attacked by members of two neo-fascist groups, Avanguardia Nazionale and Forza Nuova. The two journalists were near the Verano monumental cemetery in Rome to cover the event organised by Avanguardia Nazionale in memory of the Acca Larentia killings, in 1978. A group of neo-fascists approached Marchetti and took his camera’s memory card. Other militants then surrounded the journalist Federico Marconi and began to hit him with kicks and slaps. The boss of Forza Nuova together…

Italian journalist killed during the Strasbourg attack

On December 13, Antonio Megalizzi, an Italian journalist who had been seriously hurt at the head during the gun attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, died after being for few days in a coma. His conditions were partiicularly bad since the very first moment and when he arrived at the hospital it was clear that he was struggling between life and death. Megalizzi, who was only 28 years old, went in Strasbourg as a voluntary journalist of Europhonica, a shared radio show aiming to give voice to independent student and university media interested in Europe. The show broadcasts from the European Parliament…

Italian journalists protest governing party insults

On the December 10, the Human Rights Day, Italian journalists have once again organised a protest against the attacks of some members of the government. They gathered to defend the dignity of Journalists’ work and the values contained in Article 21 of the Italian Constitution (guaranteeing free speech). The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) keeps on supporting its Italian affiliate, Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (Fnsi), in the fight against the continuous attempts to limit journalists’ work in the country. On the same day, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio (5 Star Movement) convened FNSI and the National Order of Journalists (Cnog)…

Italy: increasing attacks against status of journalists

On 27 November, Italian MEP Isabella De Monte (S&D) organised the event “The challenges of European Journalism”, taking as an example the recent problems of Italian journalism, such as politicians’ attempts to undermine public media credibility and the difficult economic situation of Italian journalists and media, to discuss about the more widespread attacks to free press throughout Europe. An issue that has to be addressed right now before the European elections with disinformation on the rise said De Monte. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was represented by its director Renate Schroeder, participating together with Raffaele Lorusso, general secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa…

Conference: The Challenges of European Journalism

Italian MEP Isabella De Monte is organising the event “THE CHALLENGES OF EUROPEAN JOURNALISM” which will be held in Brussels at the European Parliament, room ASP 3H1, on Tuesday, November 27th from 15:00 h to 17:00 h. Fake news is one of the biggest challenges facing the media today. The authenticity of information has become an issue affecting the society and our democracy, both for printed and digital media. On social networks, the reach and effects of information spread occur at such a fast pace and so amplified that distorted, inaccurate or false information acquires a tremendous potential to cause real…

Italy: Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio insulted journalists

On November 10 2018, in occasion of the acquittal of Virginia Raggi, the mayor of Rome who was charged with forgery in relation to the appointment of Renato Marra as head of the Tourism Department, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and the Five Stars Movement MP Alessandro Di Battista attacked again Italian journalists. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its Italian affiliate, Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI), in organising a protest action  on November 13 to speak out against these systematic attacks against the press in Italy with the hashtag #GiùLeManiDallInformazione (Hands off the information).…

Mondadori: EFJ Steering Committee supports Italian journalists affected by the sale of Panorama magazine

The Steering Committee of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today expressed solidarity with Italian journalists affected by the sale of the magazine “Panorama” by the big publishing company Mondadori. Anna del Freo, EFJ Steering Committee member and deputy General Secretary of the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI), was invited at the occasion of the trade union assembly to assist her colleagues, whose working conditions will seriously be deteriorated. Mondadori’s recent decision to sell Panorama to La Verità will force the 24 journalists working for the magazine to accept the cut of their salary by 45%. This was their only choice – the alternative was…

Mafia aggressor against an Italian journalist condemned

On 28th September, the Italian court of Ragusa sentenced the aggressor of Paolo Borrometi, a 44 years old freelance investigative journalist and the president of Articolo 21, the Italian association promoting freedom of expression. Venerando Lauretta was sentenced for the death threats he made against the journalist, aggravated by the mafia method, to one year and six months imprisonment. Lauretta, regent of the mafia clan Carbonaro-Dominante of Vittoria (Ragusa), begun to threaten Borrometi after identifying the journalist as responsible for the opening of investigations against his person. Paolo Borrometi is the editor of anti-mafia investigative website LaSpia.it, where he reports on the Sicilian…

EFJ condemns Italian government threat to cut indirect state funding to newspapers

Italian government threatens to cut indirect state funding to the press, accusing newspapers of “polluting the debate”. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate the Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI) in strongly condemning these threats and expressing serious concerns over the press situation in Italy. The government’s announcement was made on 12 September and throughout last week by Luigi Di Maio, head of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and key figure in Italy’s government. On his Facebook account, the deputy prime minister threatened the press in a post saying that…

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