19 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 02 Jan 2019 n° 2/2019 Italy

Government Decided to Abolish Public Funding to the Press

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
On 29 December 2018, the Italian Parliament confirmed the government’s 2019 budget, with 327 votes in favour, 228 against, and one abstention. Among other things, the budget includes a progressive reduction of direct subsidies to safeguard media pluralism (minus 20% in 2019, minus 50% in 2020, minus 75% in 2021). The public funding to media pluralism is supposed to be totally abolished by 2022. On 28 December, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that this is "a sacrifice imposed on everyone" and should not be understood "as an attack on freedom of information". However, the Italian Federation of Journalists' Unions (Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana, FNSI) and the Journalists' Order (Ordine dei Giornalisti) stated that this economic measure will cause the closure of numerous national newspapers. Both organisations view this measure as a serious attack on media pluralism. The newspapers threatened with closure, following the decision, are: Avvenire (receiving € 5.9 million in subsidies per year), Italia oggi (€ 4.8 million), Libero quotidiano (€ 3.7 million), Il Manifesto (€ 3 million), Il Foglio (800,000 euros), in addition to Catholic weekly magazines and linguistic minorities publications.
State replies
19 Dec 2019
Reply from the Italian authorities (information provided by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers)
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