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Lampedusa. Clash between group leader of M5S and journalist of the news agency Dire


Bossi-Fini law? Villarosa: I know nothing. Alfonso Raimo wrote it and had been insulted. Solidarity to the journalist from Ossigeno and the Parliamentary Press Association

“Of course I was pressing, but when I see the video interview I reassure myself: I’m sure I have done my job properly.” Alfonso Raimo, parliamentary reporter of the news agency Dire for several years, is a meticulous journalist, as there are few in the Montecitorio. He believes that journalists must always do the right question, even if the respondent does not like it. Alfonso believes that journalists should not make concessions to anyone. Journalists should publish each question and answer, although if the answer puts a bad light on the interviewee.

Alfonso behaved in this way even the past 3 October, the day of the disaster of Lampedusa, when he interviewed the leader of the Members of the Movimento 5 Stelle Alessio Villarosa, a video interview and in writing. When the video and the “take” were published by the news agency, the interviewee responded by insulting the reporter. Solidarity with the reporter was expressed by the Parliamentary Press and Ossigeno per l’Informazione.

That day, as other reporters, Alfonso Raimo met the leader of M5S in Piazza Montecitorio. Alessio Villarosa has been generous with all statements. Of course he spoke of what had happened in Lampedusa and what Europe should do.

Raimo has waited his turn and asked: “But you are in favor or against the laws governing immigration in Italy, the Turkish-Napolitano and the Bossi-Fini?”. Villarosa has dodged the question by saying: “Look, I’m the group leader of M5S and I do not know all the issues of the world.” How is it possible, objected Alfonso Raimo, this is the political issue of the day! Villarosa replied candidly: “Look, Parliament is divided by commissions. Everyone has their own skills. Since it is not a topic for discussion at this time in the Aula, it is not my responsibility. I do not know all the issues of the world. There is a Judiciary Committee who is researching probably also of this theme. I call them and I’ll explain what is the position of the M5S”.

In that moment Raimo tried to reason with his interlocutor, but the lawmaker called it “biased” and switched to another interview.

Raimo returned to the newsroom and he published his question and the answer of Villarosa. He also published the video version on the Dire web site. The day passed without incident. The day after Villarosa got annoyed and posted a comment on his Facebook page in which he defines his interviewer “mysterious journalist with phone,” intellectually dishonest reporter. To this post there were added many comments from readers who have used much more colorful expressions, some in a threatening tone. Villarosa also has posted on Youtube a short video of the moments after the interview in which he accuses of bias Raimo while he protests saying that he had only done his job.

The Parlamentary Press Association has expressed solidarity with Alfonso Raimo and with the news agency Dire “subject to insults and even threats by members and sympathizers of the Movement 5 stars who on Facebook attacked him for doing his daily work of information”.

“Ossigeno per l’Informazione- said Alberto Spampinato, Editor in Chief – expresses solidarity to Alfonso Raimo and defends the right and duty of parliamentary reporters to ask questions relevant to the current situation, even if the other person believes it to be unwelcome, and to publish the answers clearly to allow citizens to know what parliamentarians think about issues, as both argue their opinions. It is not for the politicians to give marks of professionalism reporters. Those who expect to do so takes on a threatening tone and limits the freedom and pluralism of information. Political information needs of scrupulous reporters, mutual respect and fair play”.

Tradotto da Rossella Ricchiuti

Read in Italian: Lampedusa. Scontro fra capogruppo M5S e cronista agenzia Dire

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