Italians outraged after child porn shown on TV


Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


ROME – Italian television officials resigned Thursday after state TV aired graphic images in a prime-time news report on child pornography. The broadcasts, seen by nearly 11 million people, shocked Italy and ignited a political firestorm.


An anchorman and two assistant news directors resigned Thursday. Two top news executives offered to follow suit, but RAI-TV rejected the offers late Thursday after a lengthy meeting.


The case hit the news a day earlier, when police said they had broken up an online international child pornography ring, arrested eight Italians and three Russians and seized thousands of videos and photographs.


The Russian-run ring, which distributed an explicit catalog on the Internet, catered to clients in the United States, Italy and Germany. Its inventory included films of children being tortured and killed.


The station showed some of the photos and graphic snippets of video during the 7 p.m. newscast Wednesday.


An hour later, even though complaints had already started pouring in, the images were rebroadcast on the next newscast.


Investigators say the pornography ring produces and distributes images showing children as young as 2 years old being sexually abused.