Freedom from the press – Beppe Grillo’s Blog

by Niccolò Morelli – Not even the time to be scandalized by our country’s 41st place in the world freedom press index 2021, which a year later the situation has further and drastically worsened.

The annual ranking, promoted by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which measures the press freedom index in the 180 main countries of the world, has relegated Italy to 58th place, a fall of 17 positions which attests the journalism of the beautiful country just below that of North Macedonia and Romania and just above Niger and Ghana.

The methodology used to draw up the ranking measures the effective possibility for journalists, as individuals and as groups, to select, produce and disseminate news and information in the public interest, regardless of political, economic, legal and social interference and without threats to their physical and mental safety “. Going more into the specifics of the Italian situation, again according to RSF, our country passes from a situation considered “satisfactory” in 2021 to a “problematic” one in 2022. In fact, in the reasons for the positioning of Italy so low, we read that despite “The Italian media landscape is well developed and has a wide range of means of communication that guarantee a real diversity of opinions (….) the media as a whole are increasingly dependent on advertising revenues and any state subsidies and journalists too often they succumb to the temptation to censor themselves in order to comply with the editorial line of their own newspaper or to avoid a complaint for defamation “.

Among the other reasons that have contributed to bringing our country down so low there are also the dangerous threats of organized crime, especially in the south, to which the press is subjected.

Months and months of witch hunts also contributed to this shameful result (pointing out as novax or Putinian anyone who dared to depart from the single thought) instead of starting a deep reflection within Italian journalism and questioning once and for all a way of making information that , results in hand, it is outdated and deficient.

The “fake news certificates” have contributed and are contributing, real hoaxes passed off as absolute truths and thrown on the front page without the shred of verification or shame: for example, the Tg2 that transmits the images of a video game by passing them off as bombings in Ukraine, or all the newspapers united in making the funeral for Raiola almost a week in advance, or even Repubblica which talks about a secret meeting (with a lot of back and forth) between former Prime Minister Conte and Professor Orsini when both they say they don’t know each other and haven’t even seen each other on a postcard.

Contributing to the decay of our journalism is also the belonging of the largest media (newspapers, radio and TV) to subjects with interests opposed to free information, entrepreneurs and lobbies with their hands in everything, from finance to politics.

Some examples: Antonio Angelucci, king of the Milanese private clinics and member of Forza Italia is the owner of “Libero”, one of the main national newspapers as well as Il Tempo and Il corriere dell’Umbria. The Agnelli family, with interests ranging from football to cars to armaments (with Iveco Defense Vehicles) owns La Stampa, La Repubblica, L’Espresso, Il Secolo XIX and 14 local newspapers. Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, with interests ranging from insurance to construction, owns Il Messaggero, Il Mattino di Napoli, Il Gazzettino and Leggo. Confindustria, the main representative organization of Italian companies, owns Il Sole24 Ore; Rai is historically in the hands of political parties and Berlusconi (whose interests and career need not be traced) owns its televisions, with related news programs, its radios, with related radio news and Il Giornale, another very important national newspaper.

The general picture of Italian news is worrying, and the one just described is only a small part of a much larger and more convoluted system that over the years has helped destroy the reputation of our journalism. This trend must be reversed as soon as possible because a weak press subject to external influences generates a people who are uninformed and consequently less free.

If we do not reverse the course even in the face of this umpteenth certification of decay, some might think that a poorly informed people, in the end, could also be useful.


Niccolò Morelli, born in 1993, was born in Empoli but lives in the Tuscan hills of Vinci, the town that gave birth to the genius of Leonardo. In 2018 he graduated in Political Science at the University of Florence and two years later he obtained a Master’s degree in Labor Sciences, half of which attended the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, with a thesis entitled “Digitization and robotization: towards a future without work?”.

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