(ANSA) – Rome, November 13 – Italy’s communications authority AGCOM on Tuesday said attacks on the media risked damaging the free press. In a statement AGCOM stressed the “need for free, plural information that respects people’s dignity, the role of the political parties and the professional autonomy of journalists.

“Every attack on press organs risks harming the Constitutional principle of free expression of thought that is at the foundation of pluralism of information, and freedom to report and criticise”. Italian journalists staged flash-mob protests in Rome and in other cities on Tuesday after members of the 5-Star Movement (M5S), including Deputy Premier and Labour and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio, blasted the profession for its reporting of a case against Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi.

Raggi, an M5S member, was cleared of charges of lying about a senior appointment at the weekend. Di Maio called reporters of the Raggi case “dirty low-down jackals”.

M5S bigwig Alessandro Di Battista called journalists “prostitutes and hacks”.

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