Repubblica: motion of censure against director Maurizio Molinari.

Maurizio Molinari, Repubblica director

ROME - The editorial board of Repubblica has voted on a motion of censure against director Maurizio Molinari, submitted by the editorial committee after an unapproved article modiciation. There were 164 votes in favour, 55 against and 35 abstentions. Repubblica journalists withdrew their signatures from the newspaper and website for 24 hours on April 9.

The operation, first announced by the magazine Professione Reporter, is due to the following episode: The April 8 issue, the pre-packaged economic supplement on Monday Affari&Finanza, was withdrawn by the management and sent to the pulp mill (100 thousand copies) due to the opening piece on the economic ties between Italy and France. The contribution by Giovanni Pons was deleted and replaced by a contribution by Deputy Director Walter Galbiati, coordinator of the entire economic section of Repubblica, on the same topic but with different overtones. In the economic relations between Italy and France, several chapters concern Stellantis, formerly Fiat, and Exor, which is owned by the Gedi Group, owner of la Repubblica.

The title of the two versions on Affari&Finanza is identical: "High-tension affairs on the Rome-Paris front". However, the deleted summary read: "The cases of STM, TIM and Arcelor's escape from Ilva revive the controversy over the imbalance in relations between Italy and France." The new summary, available on newsstands, reads: “The cases of STM, TIM and Arcelor's escape from Ilva reignite the controversy. They work when business is going on." The changes in the text are minor but significant: they criticize state intervention in the management of companies, speak of "flimsy dirigisme" and call for the interests of the economy and companies to take precedence.

The motion adopted states: "The Assembly of Repubblica journalists denounces the seriousness of the facts that led to the censorship of the inaugural report of Affari&Finanza in the April 8 issue. The director has the power to decide what is published in the newspaper and what is not, but he may not interfere in the completion of research, the verification of facts and the comparison with sources by a colleague, especially if this is agreed with the editorial staff. In this way, the autonomy of each individual Repubblica journalist is undermined and a precedent is set that calls into question the value of our work in the future. ".

For all of the above reasons, the editorial board passed the motion of censure against Molinari this afternoon. Molinari will be able to stay in his place, as happened in the past, for example, with Fabio Tamburini (2020) and Gianni Riotta (2011), both at Sole24Ore.

The serious episode, for which the meeting with all journalists was called in the early afternoon, comes after the internal tensions over the Ghali case, which has put the newspaper in a bad light: During the Sanremo festival, Molinari blocked (this time a second before the press) an interview with the artist Ghali – a sort of message of peace on the war in Gaza – because it did not contain any reference to Hamas. After denouncing the fact, the director essentially confirmed the censorship and stated that the interview would be unblocked once Ghali had given an answer about Hamas.