The Mussolini roll of Journalists


On the occasion of his first meeting with Mussolini in Venice, Hitler arrived dressed in a creased raincoat. The “duce” and his ministers arrived in full uniform, fez, boots, sashes, flags and all. The only thing missing was the African slaves dressed in animal skins and blowing on trumpets. From that moment on, Hitler decided to copy fascism in its entirety. Except for one thing: the professional roll of journalists. He was not callous enough for this.
In 1925, Mussolini created the roll where the journalists were required to register, the only such roll anywhere in the world. The roll was controlled by the Government and was placed under the auspices of the Minister of Justice, the Mastella of that era.
In 1963, thanks to a new law, the roll became the professional order of journalists, complete with rules, pensions, control organs and admission requirements. A corporation based on firm principles. In fact, Law 69/1963 states that: the freedom to inform and criticise is the journalists inalienable right, while it is the journalists inescapable duty to respect the essential truth regarding the facts uncovered, and always to fulfil the obligations imposed by the spirit of loyalty and good faith.
Einaudi wrote that: “A compulsory roll is immoral because it tends to impose limitations on that which has no limitations and should not have any, namely, freedom of thought and expression. Accepting the principle of a compulsory roll is like reviving the worst institutions of the upper classes and closed corporations, which are prone to the desires of the tyrants and the sworn enemies of the youth, the rebels and the non-conformists”
Berlinguer added that: “I am against the requirement of any educational qualification for the journalist profession, because I believe such requirement to be an absurd form of discrimination, a class discrimination that is contrary to the freedom of the press and the freedom to express one’s personal opinions".
Information is free and the order of journalists limits the freedom of information. Anyone should be free to write whatever he/she wishes, without any limitations other than those envisaged by the law.
Let the free journalists tear up their membership cards; they don’t need them because their only point of reference is the reader.
On 25 April we will be signing a petition for a three-point referendum for freedom of information in a free State. The first point will be for the repeal of Law 66/1963 because access to the journalist’s profession and the freedom to practice journalism must be freed from the shackles of any bureaucratic and similar corporate limitations.

V2-day, 25 April, for the freedom of information:
1. Post your photographs on, under the V2-day tag
2. Post your videos on, under the V2-day tag
3. Support V2 day

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 09:58 AM in | Comments (11) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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This is another great history lesson -- but unfortunately one that gets a little lost in translation.

Even simply "list" is probably more comprehensible for English speakers (roll = more commonly panino) but you could say that to give (himself a journalist, too, right?) some tone, Mussolini elevated journalist status to the rest of the traditional professions (doctors, lawyers, engineers,architects), all of which require exams and licensed qualifications. As a foreign journalist in Italy, I was pretty shocked when I had to sign up for the "roll."


Posted by: Nicole Martinelli | January 30, 2008 03:38 PM

This is another great history lesson -- but unfortunately one that gets a little lost in translation.

Even simply "list" is probably more comprehensible for English speakers (roll = more commonly panino) but you could say that to give (himself a journalist, too, right?) some tone, Mussolini elevated journalist status to the rest of the traditional professions (doctors, lawyers, engineers,architects), all of which require exams and licensed qualifications.


Posted by: Nicole Martinelli | January 30, 2008 03:36 PM

Dear Mr Grillo, I recently heard about your satirical work on the Italian deadful and corrupt political set up. From my experience of Italian culture and cinical outlook to life and people in general I came to the conclusion that the Italian system is nothing more than a Modern FEUDAL system and this I found very scary. This is NOT a free democracy at all.
Although Italy has had so many changes of Government since 1945 the bureaucratic class that should really be removed is still in place and this is the class that pass their position from father to son (feudalism) and that costs Italy an increadible amount of GDP (Gross National Product) for a whole lot of corrupt, inept and worthless cast.
As an ex foreign TV media journalist I admire your work and wish you the very best indeed.

Posted by: Maurizio Odello | January 28, 2008 12:39 PM

Italy is death.

Posted by: Jason Marlion | January 27, 2008 07:48 PM

Ok Adri but who are we going to vote for? The same old geriatrics? I don't think so!

Posted by: grace | January 27, 2008 11:10 AM

Dear Beppe, It makes no difference whether there is a Sacred Order of Journalsts,or not. Media owners own freedom of expression We should make sure that they don't privatize the net or do away with your blog.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | January 27, 2008 04:37 AM

Hi "Grace",

I'm an English-speaking Italian who doesn't live in Italy but what I am going to do is VOTE!

What about you???

Posted by: Adri Mian | January 27, 2008 02:47 AM

hi dear pep cricket , I trust in u
kisses kisses kisses from italy

Posted by: Sergio | January 27, 2008 12:19 AM

Hi guys! What a bloody mess hey? Did any one see Brambilla on telly last night? I ask myself if anyone that votes right knows how to read in English? All the foreign papers have said really spooky things about Italy in the last months, I mean all things that we know but when you see them written in black and white on paper wow!
The only thing that Berlusconi did in the 5 years that he and his buddies in parliament were, break the record for the longest running government!
So could someone refresh my memory and tell me what else they did? You know reforms etc I must have fallen asleep while Brambilla was speaking and missed it!!!!
All the English speaking people that vote in Italy what can we do???????
Times running out!!

Posted by: Grace | January 26, 2008 07:04 PM

Sti cazzi...non lo vigliamo dire?

Posted by: 4mori | January 26, 2008 06:10 PM

Hello everyone,
Mr. Prodi’s government total failure, cost estimate in two years, 60 Billion in expenditure (Two years worth of fiscal planning!) and 27-28 Billions in additional taxes.
All of the above for apsolutely no improvements! (Actually Italians have lost hope!)
Now let’s see what 230 Million Euro per Year worth of Presidency’s Budgets gets you?
The future looks bright wear dark shades.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 26, 2008 12:05 PM

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