Media Defence Logo

CLOSE

Media Defence Supports Argentinian Investigative Reporter Threatened for Public Interest Newsgathering

Media Defence Supports Argentinian Investigative Reporter Threatened for Public Interest Newsgathering

Santiago O’Donnell is an Argentinian investigative journalist, author and editor of international news at newspaper Página 12. In October 2020 O’Donnell published a controversial book (“Hermano”) detailing the rise of Mauricio Macri to the presidency. The book was based on research and recorded interviews with the former president’s brother, Mariano.

The reaction from the Macri family was swift. Mariano Macri applied to the courts asking for the tapes of his interviews with O’Donnell to be turned over in order to prepare a civil lawsuit for damages against him. The first instance judge granted the request and gave O’Donnell five days to comply.

Media Defence is supporting O’Donnell’s defence in court, where he is appealing this ruling. According to his lawyers, Damián Loretti and Cristian del Rosario, “the decision to publish or to reveal the content of an interview remains with the journalist, not the interviewee”. If the first instance court order is not overturned, it may create a dangerous precedent impacting on press freedom on the continent. O’Donnell’s reporting relates to matters that are clearly in the public interest. International law recognises that the techniques and methods of reporting are matters for journalists to determine. In that respect, international courts have noted that journalists enjoy freedom to choose how they report on news items and have recognised the importance of protecting journalists’ newsgathering activities, conducted prior to publication. Santiago O’Donnell’s case puts these fundamental principles of journalism at risk.

If you are a journalist or lawyer in need of support, please click here.

If you would like to support our work, please click here.

Recent News

Las Volcánicas: sued for reporting on allegations of sexual abuse

Matilde de Los Milagros Londoño and Catalina Ruiz-Navarro are two Colombian journalists, founders of the news outlet Las Volcánicas. After extensive research, on 24 June 2020 they published a report denouncing eight cases of alleged sexual abuse and harassment against women by the renowned Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra. Soon afterwards Guerra launched a series of […]

Read

Guinea: Our Application Following the Internet Shutdowns

Media Defence files application to ECOWAS Court against Guinea following government-ordered internet shutdowns Media Defence has filed an application to the ECOWAS Court on behalf of four applicants after Guinea cut internet access across the country in March 2020, and again in October 2020. The shutdowns were imposed at critical moments in Guinea’s democracy. In […]

Read

Guinée: Media Defence Dépose une Requête suite aux Coupures d’Internet

Media Defence dépose une requête devant la Cour de Justice de la CEDEAO contre la Guinée suite aux coupures d’internet ordonnées par le gouvernement Media Defence a déposé une requête auprès de la Cour de Justice de la CEDEAO au nom de quatre requérants après que la Guinée ait coupé l’accès à Internet dans tout […]

Read