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Campania. Threats to a “Metropolis” journalist

A Facebook attack because of an article on the imprisonment of the President of the Savoia Football Club: “be careful what you write”

“Be careful tomorrow, do not write mean things on our president or I swear I’ll make you pay for it, and believe me I will”. This threat came on November 7th via Facebook, allegedly from a football supporter, against the reporter for the Metropolis network Mr. Gigi Capasso, who has been intimidated before by some supporters of the Savoia Football Club from Torre Annunziata (Naples).

As the online news agency Resport states, the message had been sent even before the newspaper got delivered to newsstands following the arrest of the football club’s president, Mr. Lazzaro Luce. An issue which was being followed by Mr. Capasso.

The threats continued on the next day, November 8th, with other messages from the same profile: “you son of a bitch, do not ever show your face in Torre again, I’m gonna beat you up you bastard (bastardo t’aggia scassà)”. And again: “you know you’re a real shit, right?”, and “I swear that I will do everything possible not to let you sell any more of your newspapers here in Torre Annunziata”.

Mr. Capasso, who filed a complaint, received “the solidarity of many colleagues in Italy, but not from local reporters”, as he explained to Ossigeno. Support was given from his newsroom and from Ordine Regionale, as well as other institutions: it is the Mr. Capasso himself who care to emphasize the attentiveness of law enforcement agencies, and especially of the local police station.

“I did write an article on Mr.Luce on the morning of the 8th, but nothing could suggest an attack of this kind”, the journalist says. The chronicler, born in Torre Annunziata, was already the object of insults in the past by people connected to the Savoia’s hooligans. “Two years ago – he remembers – a banner was hung at the stadium accusing me of making a career from speaking ill of the city. And not long before I found writings in front my house always due to the same circumstances”.

In the background, there is furthermore a climate that is hostile to the newspaper (and TV channel) based in Torre Annunziata. An outlet that the Ordine Regionale deemed in its solidarity statement to be “a model for information in Campania”, which is capable of “constant and meticulous reporting”.

Some Facebook groups, related to the supporters of the Savoia Football Club, did not limit themselves to the insults, but would, as Mr. Capasso says, actively distribute leaflets (already acquired by the police) in the city calling for a boycott of the newspaper for what it wrote about the city and the Savoia. “It is a situation where members of the old management of the clubget mixed with a local blog which has been pouring discredit on the paper’s work, even resorting to false reporting of nonexistent phone calls”, Mr. Capasso adds.

He explains the situation thus: “Metropolis writes about the Savoia, but is classified as an ‘enemy ‘. It is difficult to make peopleunderstand that we journalists have a duty to tell the facts beyond affiliations, even when it implies unearthing the interconnections of the criminal world in town”.

The newspaper, indeed, is adamant: “the hardships of being capable to carry out one’s own work are becoming worryingly recurrent in some circumstances and in some circles”, as could be read from the statement of solidarity of the editorial board of the newspaper.

The Ordine Regionale of Campania addressed the prefect of Naples, Mr. Francesco Musolino, who albeit is “already vigilant on events concerning the Metropolis”, has called for “further efforts to protect colleagues and the freedom of information”.

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