Journalists at Italian state media strike against govt’s ‘stifling control’

ER Editor: This situation puts us in mind of a piece we recently published over journalists at a German state broadcaster taking a slightly different approach to protest the very biased hand that controls them and the public. See —


Employees of German Public Media in Quiet Revolt Against Shocking Level of Bias

See this from —

Journalists at Italian public media strike over Meloni government’s influence

ROME — Journalists at Italy’s state broadcaster RAI went on strike Monday protesting what their union termed “suffocating control” by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration, which it claimed was “attempting to turn RAI into a mouthpiece for the government.”

It’s an Italian government tradition to appoint loyalists to top jobs at RAI — but since Meloni took power in 2022, high-profile presenters and managers have gone so far as to quit the broadcaster due to what they say is government interference.

Meanwhile, criticism has intensified over attempts by the Italian government to silence journalists with legal action, along with proposals by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party to increase sanctions for defamation.

Italy has dropped five slots to 46th in the latest World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The RSF report cited “Giorgia Meloni’s Italy” as an example of political groups “orchestrating the takeover of the media ecosystem … where a member of the ruling parliamentary coalition is trying to acquire the second biggest news agency (AGI).”


Rai journalists strike against government’s “stifling control”


The strike against Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government follows the abrupt cancellation of a planned monologue by Italian anti-fascist writer Antonio Scurati to commemorate Italy’s liberation from fascism on April 25. [Shutterstock/Jullius]

“We have always advocated for keeping political parties away from Rai . We contest the Renzi reform, which subjected Rai to the control of successive governments. We hope that the media freedom law will help us in this regard ,” said Daniele Macheda, secretary of USIGRAI, the union representing striking journalists, at a press conference held Monday to explain the reasons for the strike.

USIGRAI denounced political efforts aimed at making Rai “a spokesperson for the government” and highlighted several grievances, including the merger of publications without consultation with unions, the lack of replacement of journalists who leave retired or on maternity leave, the absence of a public selection process for new recruits and the reduction of salaries through the abolition of performance bonuses.

Vittorio di Trapani, a Rai journalist and president of the National Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI), also present at the press conference, said his organization had always fought against all attempts to muzzle freedom of expression , but said that “what has happened in recent months is unprecedented.”

USIGRAI published a video on Sunday explaining the reasons for the strike, but Rai management reacted by accusing the journalists of striking for “ideological and political reasons” which “have nothing to do with the rights of workers”.

Political influence over Rai is a long-standing problem in the country, as its board members are appointed by parliament and the government, and chosen based on their party affiliation. It is also a way for governments to reward their supporters by granting them high-level positions.



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