Media Conduct Deplorable in Italian Adoption Case

A recent case of two girls who had been adopted from Slovakia to Italy has been causing a stir between the two countries, all apparently for no particular reason, other than the tabloid hunger for sensation.

photo: Jeff Maurone

Our Deputy editor in chief, Antonio Papaleo, went to Italy earlier in January to film the real story of the two adopted girls and the situation on adoptions in Italy as part of our investigative co-operation with national broadcaster RTV. The special report will be aired tomorrow, Thursday 28 February at 21.55, as part of the program Reportéri on channel STV1.

At the center of the story are two Roma girls, Julka (14) and Joyka (15), who were cleared for adoption to an Italian family a few years ago. The media hype around the girls and their treatment in Italy was started when they communicated with their former adoptive mother in Slovakia, claiming that they were pregnant and so on. The teenage girls live with their foster parents in a small village in Sicily.

What started out as a kind of joke, however, has had serious consequences, as the Slovak tabloid media grabbed the story (Plus jeden den) and published it without verification of information. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the TV Joj reporter who was sent there was posing to everyone in the village as the biological father of the two girls so he could get close to them and gain information. Illegal and unethical not just in terms of journalism, and he is said to have narrowly escaped arrest as he left before the police arrived.

The national broadcaster RTV was already looking into the case back in December 2012 and so decided to send Mr. Papaleo while respecting all the proper channels required for a foreign journalist to operate there. With a thorough incognito investigation, while respecting the privacy of the adoptive family, it soon became clear that the two minors were living in a healthy environment, serene, under the watchful eye not only of the family, but the whole community as they had become an integral part of it.

In short, a bad joke, a big fuss, a lot of apprehension in the face of media hype. The whole affair points again to how low some media will stoop to get a sensation and have no problem interfering or manipulating with peoples’ lives to get the story. The scandal here is nothing to do with the girls, but more about some Slovak media that push ethics and personal rights into the background.

So watch the real story about the two girls and the whole affair on the programme Reporteri on STV1 at 9.55 pm tomorrow, with exclusive interviews and all the details of a story which now preoccupies and involves the competent authorities in both countries.


  1. I had the dubious pleasure of forced watching the last half hour of `Cz o Svk Superstar` last night ….All decided by three judges……. one guy who appears he had just left a Jean Luc Picard (Star Trek), look alike convention…. another judge was a quite miserable, patronising, unshaven, bearded told, I am talentless former Slowvak rock star…….. and finally some young bird with nice eyes and a huge arse, but the IQ of a goldfish, who appeared to want to take down the mobile phone numbers of all the male contestants she fancied to shag ??? This was prime time Sunday TV on commercial TV .

    Of all the 15/16 `finalists` , NOT ONE was ethnic ,not brown, black, yellow, asian, african, roma etc ….ofcourse not of these other types can sing like good old fashioned aryan raced Cz o Slowvaks ???

    Racism at it`s best ……..

  2. Yet another example of JOJs suberb, one sided, emotive reporting on last nights effort. A long and biased article about a local young man who was beaten by the police. The article concentrates on the issue that he was mistaken for another idiot who put a shop window through. The boys father somehow got involved, talking bollocks. Its a shame daddy didn’t see his little boy and his drunken mates shouting and screaming, throwing their weight around, playing the tough guys and obstructing the TWELVE police officers who had to deal with the incident, in the early hours of the morning in a residential area. They should have all been thrown in the back of a van and up infront of the magistrate (if the SVK had any). Also, JOJ reporters should note that this incident was not an isolated case. I live close to this venue, which is a magnet for drunken idiots, and this sort of behaviour is the norm, and by the norm I mean almost every morning ( it’s open till 5am). The police get my pat on the back for their action, I just hope they come down just as hard, if not harder, next time they attend an incident at this dive.

  3. There appears to be no limit to the depths people will sink in this country. Echoing George – some of us did point out the irresponsible practises of JOJ in the past only to face a torrent of abuse from certain readers. Interesting to note that respected journalists can be threatened with court action for publishing the truth while cowboy outfit JOJ breaches just about every journalistic code, broadcasts lies and nobody says Boo!

  4. ~~~With a thorough incognito investigation, while respecting the privacy of the adoptive family, it soon became clear that the two minors were living in a healthy environment, serene, under the watchful eye not only of the family, but the whole community as they had become an integral part of it.~~~

    Are you for real here ??…

    Staying away in total, would have been respecting the privacy of the adoptive kids and family. The hypocrisy here is flabbergasting, given the smell of a scandal, even a tragic story just to sell newsprint and paid adverts!!

    Was not this very Newsrag supporting and chastising several of us commenters, whilst then championing the village idiots supporting two pervert Slowvaks a few months ago, that the gutter TV JoJ `exposed` of a part of some conspiracy for profit, made against the UK Social Services after taking abused kids into urgent care ??

    Another media hype that passed most dimwits by ….

    Hang your head in same JB , in shame ….

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