European Federation of Journalists

Pivotal moment for Italy to abolish prison sentences for criminal defamation

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners in call for reform ahead of court hearing On Tuesday, 9 June 2020, the Italian Constitutional Court will hold a public hearing into the legitimacy of laws that allow for jail sentences for journalists convicted of defamation. It comes after the Italian State Attorney submitted a memorandum to the Court on 31 March 2020 on behalf of the government, signalling its plans to retain tough legal provisions for journalists found guilty of publishing defamatory material in the press. The Ordine dei Giornalisti (National Council of the Order…

Mapping COVID-19 support: Italy

Specific measures for freelancers Freelancers with an annual income of up to 50.000€ could get a bonus of 600€. The National Institute for Italian Journalists Social Security (INGPI) implemented a package of measures of 42 000€ which allowed extensions of parental leave, the right to defer contribution, a fund for solidarity loans at zero cost, an additional economic allowance of 500€ for all contraction of activities (in case of a contraction of at least 33% of the income in the quarter March-May 2020, compared of the period October-December 2019) and possibility to suspend further financing installment in progress with the…

Italy: Chief Editor under police protection after receiving death threats from neo-Nazi group

Carlo Verdelli, Chief Editor of “La Repubblica”, a left wing and well-respected Italian newspaper, has been put under police protection after receiving death threats from neo-Nazi groups. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) join their Italian affiliate, Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana (FNSI), in expressing solidarity towards Carlo Verdelli and strongly condemning this appalling intimidation. The police protection measure was ordered by the Interior Ministry on 12 March, following several threats including a death threat coming from a so-called “Neo-Nazi’” silent cells. The FNSI Main Boarding said: “The police protection of Carlo Verdelli…

Italy: journalist threatened by mafia group

On 6 March, Gennaro Del Giudice was threatened by the Camorra mafia while reporting on a shooting in Naples, Italy. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemn this act of intimidation and call on the authorities to guarantee his safety. Del Giudice is the Editorial Director of Cronaca Flegrea and works with Il Mattino di Napoli. Cronaca Flegrea has previously been targeted by the mafia group because of its publications and investigations. On Wednesday 6 March, following his arrest, a mafia affiliate threatened Del Giudice. After being handcuffed, he said that the raid on his home…

Italy: Outrage over Sanremo festival presenter’s sexist comments on public TV

The presenter of the Italian Sanremo 2020 festival, broadcast by the Italian public television RAI, caused a wave of indignation in Italy after he praised his co-hosts with sexist comments. The presenter of the Sanremo music festival, Amedeo Umberto Rita Sebastiani, also known as Amadeus, introduced his co-hosts saying they were chosen for being “very beautiful” and referring to one of them as a “sexy icon”. He added that Francesca Sofia Novello, who is a model, is a “super beautiful” woman, and praised “her ability to be close to a great man (in reference to Valentino Rossi, her partner) by…

Italy: Journalist Mario de Michele survived gun attack

Italian journalist and editor of the Campania Notizie news website, Mario de Michele, survived a gun attack on 14 November. The journalist escaped uninjured despite 10 bullets – six of which hit the car – shot by two unknown individuals while driving in the town of Gricignano d’Aversa. “It is a miracle he is alive”, the Italian journalists’ union Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) said in a statement. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands in solidarity with the journalist and alerts about the very worrying decline when it comes to journalists’ safety in Italy and Europe. The event…

Italy: journalists’ union calls on the profession to improve media coverage of femicides

The Italian Journalists’ Union (FNSI – Federazione Nazionale Stampa Italiana) yesterday called for greater awareness when reporting about gender violence and in particular, femicides. This important wake-up call was published by the FNSI ‘Commission for equal opportunities’ whereas the headlines and news regarding the murder of a woman has raised controversy in Italy. The case of the murder of Elisa Pomarelli, near Piacenza, reached national news when the body was found after two weeks of intensive search that ended with the confession of a man, who said to be Pomarelli’s friend. The reports in newspapers, TV, radio stations and digital…

Italy: Riot police beats up journalist covering Neo-Fascist demonstration

On May 23, Stefano Origone, an Italian journalist was beaten up by riot police officers while covering clashes among demonstrators in a rally of the far-right party CasaPound in Genoa. A video published by Origone’s employer, the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, shows that he was being kicked at and beaten up with batons even though he identified himself as a journalist. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was shocked by the attack of the Italian police on Origone and called for an investigation of the attack. According to Origone, he had huddled on the ground in a foetal position without defending…

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…