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Italy. The most dangerous news by Ossigeno. December 2016

This monthly review of acts of intimidation in Italy is produced by Ossigeno per l’Informazione for the European Center for Press and Media Freedom of Leipzig (ECPMF), with the support of the European Union

Monitoring: 110 warnings, 15 credible episodes of threats against 25 media professionals

In December 2016, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has verified 110 warnings about cases of probable threats, acts of intimidation and abuse that took place in Italy against journalists, bloggers and other media workers.

After thorough evaluation, the Observatory has deemed as credible 15  episodes against 25 media professionals. The Observatory has documented these episodes, published them and added the names of those threatened to its Register of victims of serious violations of freedom of expression and the press. This Register, which is available online (see) lists 3085 names, 412 of which were added during the  2017.

The cases of intimidation against journalists and information operators are: Gaetano Pragliola; Maurizio Ciccarello; Cecilia Anesi, Leo Sisti; Nicola Aurora; Lombardy Journalists; Sigfrido Parrello; Luca Simeone; Marina Mingarelli; Antonio Sasso, Roberto Paolo; Giuseppe De Tomaso, Massimo Scagliarini; Concita De Gregorio, Natalia Lombardo, Silvia Ballestra, editor; Fotoreporter; Marco Cusumano; Klaus Davi; Marco Cherubini.

There are 15 men, 5 women and 5 n/d.

The forms of intimidation, according to the Ossigeno classification method, fall into the following types: Insult (1), Light attack (2), Obstacle to freedom of information (6), Specious civil lawsuit (6), Abuse of legal process (2), Damage to property and personal effects or work equipment (1), Discrimination and arbitrary exclusion (1), Frivolous defamation lawsuit (5), Death threat (1).

News. 90 original news items produced

As such, Ossigeno has published 90 original news items of incidents including 63 in Italian and 27 in English. Moreover Ossigeno has produced seven weekly newsletters (four in Italian and three in English).

Social network dissemination

In this month Ossigeno made 93 posts, +45 likes and 1,132 views for posts on Fb; 85 tweets, 35,900 views, 887 visits, 20 notices and 32 new followers on Twitter.

Top News

About news published in December, Ossigeno makes the following observations.

On November 15th  the Court of Appeal of Rome rejected the appeal by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi against Nuova Iniziativa Editoriale, the former chief editor of L’Unità, Concita De Gregorio, and the journalists Natalia Lombardo and Silvia Ballestra. Berlusconi had asked for one million euro as compensation for moral, existential and non-property damages from the publication of four articles which referred to “elegant dinners” and his private conduct. (see).

On 19th November 2016 a SKY cameraman was attacked while filming, from the outside of the barracks ‘Pastrengo’ of Naples, by relatives of two detainees as they came of the exit (see).

The day before, Juventus Football Club had denied the request for accreditation to two journalists of La Gazzetta dello Sport for the match against Pescara (see).

The Court of Milan, on November 21st, 2016, condemned for libel and with a 600 euro fine the journalist of the daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Marco Ludovico, and with a 400 euro fine for the chief editor Roberto Napoletano. The case was brought by the former deputy head of the State Police Nicola Izzo for articles written by Ludovico in 2012 on the issue of the so-called “crow of the Viminale (the Interior Ministry)” and the anonymous complaint by which Izzo had been accused of incidents of malfeasance related to the purchase of technological equipment for the Ministry (see).

On November 23rd the Anzio city councilor and her husband warned the journalists of the news room of the web newspaper InliberaUscita and invited them not to mention their names in articles reporting the texts of a parliamentary inquiry (see).

On the same day Luciano Spalletti, the head coach of AS Roma, during a press conference attacked the reporter from Mediaset Marco Cherubini, accusing him of being a liar and of having reported false information  “with the aim of doubling the difficulties for Roma” (see).

On November 26th the journalist Klaus Davi was again attacked in Gioia Tauro (Calabria). He was producing a service about a victim of ‘ndrangheta (the criminal underworld in Calabria), when he was insulted and jostled by a sexagenarian in front of the door of the house of lawyer Gioacchino Piromalli, accused of belonging to the homonymous Calabrian clan and acquitted of the charges in 2008 (see).

On December 5th the journalist Marina Mingarelli, collaborator of Il Messaggero and of the online magazine TG24, found her car damaged (three tires had been punctured with an awl) by unknown persons while it was parked (see).

On December 13th the FNSI and the Lombard press association (trade unions of journalists) spoke of a “manifest limitation to the right to report, the right to criticize and to freedom of information” after the decision by the Unicredit group to select the press agencies admitted to a press conference (see).

About good news: the crew of Le Iene TV show, sued by Federfarma Molise (regional federation of pharmaceutical industries) for a programme item of the 29th March 2012, was acquitted. They  had ended up on trial for a report on the introduction of prescription-validating machines (see). Moreover, on 17th November the Court of Trani acquitted the chief editor of Il Giornale di Trani, Nicola Aurora, who had been sued by former councilor of the city of the Puglia region and by his wife for two articles about a dispute between them and traffic policeman over the double-parking of the couple’s car (see).

On 6th October 2016 the Court of Milan closed the lawsuit for defamation against the journalists Cecilia Anesi and Leo Sisti, respectively chairman and managing director of the IRPI (Investigative Reporting Project Italy), an investigative journalism project launched in 2012. They had been sued on October 8th, 2014 by Yulia Shesternikova, wife of Marco Russo, a man involved in a scandal about scams in the financial sector (see).

All threats

Naples. Relatives of arrested attack an operator of Sky tv http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/naples-relatives-of-arrested-attack-an-operator-of-sky-tv-75359/

Sports. Juventus denies accreditation to two reporters of La Gazzetta dello Sporthttp://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/sports-juventus-denies-accreditation-to-two-reporters-of-la-gazzetta-dello-sport-75360/

Molise. Le Iene tv show acquitted, accused from Federfarma http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/molise-le-iene-tv-show-acquitted-accused-from-federfarma-75366/

“The crow of the Viminale”. Two journalists of Il Sole 24 Ore sentenced: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/the-crow-of-the-viminale-two-journalists-of-the-sole-24-ore-sentenced-75368/

Anzio. Warned for having reported on a parliamentary inquiry: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/anzio-warned-for-having-reported-on-a-parliamentary-inquiry-75365/

Sports. Rome coach Mediaset reporter a liar; http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/sports-rome-coach-mediaset-reporter-a-liar-75611/

Calabria. Yet another aggression against Klaus Davi: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/calabria-yet-another-agression-against-klaus-davi-75615/

Latina and Velletri. Reporters of Il Messaggero attacked in front of prisons: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/latina-and-velletri-reporters-of-il-messaggero-attacked-in-front-of-prisons-75616/

Daily L’Unità. Even the appeal rejects the request for damages to Berlusconi: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/daily-lunita-even-the-appeal-rejects-the-request-for-damages-to-berlusconi-75722/

Frosinone. Damaged car of a judicial news reporter http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/frosinone-damaged-car-of-a-judicial-news-reporter-75721/

Prevents reporter from working. Figc sanctions director general of Pavia  http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/prevents-reporter-from-working-figc-sanctions-director-general-of-pavia-75903/

Sports. President of Palmese football club announces lawsuit against reporter http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/sports-president-of-palmese-fottball-club-announces-lawsuit-against-reporter-75907/

Unicredit convenes press conference, but selects the news agencies http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/unicredit-convenes-press-conference-but-selects-the-news-agencies-76235/

Trani. Reporter acquitted of dispute between politician and policeman: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/trani-reporter-acquitted-of-dispute-between-politician-and-policeman-76236/

Defamation. Closed lawsuit in Milan against Irpi: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/defamation-closed-lawsuit-in-milan-against-irpi-76246/

Other important news

Press freedom. More cooperation between Seemo and Ossigeno: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/press-freedom-more-cooperation-between-seemo-and-ossigeno-75377/

Defamation. The Fnsi: improve and approve the “No prison” bill: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/defamation-the-fnsi-improve-and-approve-the-no-prison-bill-76232/

Training. Nearly five thousand journalists at the 40 classes by Ossigeno: http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/training-nearly-five-thousand-journalists-at-the-40-classes-by-ossigeno-76240/

Grasso: I share the battles of Ossigeno, Fnsi, Odg and Articolo21:  http://notiziario.ossigeno.info/2016/12/grasso-i-share-the-battles-of-ossigeno-fnsi-odg-and-articolo21-76244/


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