Rome

Journalist strike justified but 'wrong approach'

FIEG chairman believes news blackout defeats purpose

Journalist strike justified but 'wrong approach'

Rome, November 23 - The chairman of Italy's largest news agency ANSA and also chairman of the National Newspaper Publishers' Association FIEG (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali) Giulio Anselmi said on Friday that though the motives for the Italian journalists strike slated for Monday are justified, the approach is not right. The Italian journalists' union has called for a strike in protest over a new libel law currently before parliament. "The reasons for the protest against a terrible libel law are understandable and shared. But FIEG believes that striking is an improper response that makes it even more difficult to obtain information," said Anselmi. The protest involves all news media professionals and is in opposition to the so-called 'Sallusti bill' which "seriously limits the independence of information," said Franco Siddi, secretary of the National Press Federation. The bill was meant to remove jail terms as a possible sanction for offences and raise fines following an uproar caused by a supreme Court of Cassation decision to uphold a 14-month prison term for libel for newspaper editor Alessandro Sallusti. But the bill was amended in a secret vote in the Senate on Tuesday and prison terms were reinstated, sparking the latest protests.

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