Ezio Mauro, the Italian editor whose newspaper is being sued for defamation by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi likens the situation to attacks on the American press during the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon.
"Like the American journalists, our journalists were doing their work and were publishing information that had to be published," said Mr Mauro, Editor-in-chief of La Repubblica, speaking at a World Editors Forum conference in Prague, Czech Republic.
"We are a democratic country, where citizens have the right to be informed, and it is the obligation and role of media to provide information," he said.
La Repubblica is being sued for defamation by Mr Berlusconi for repeatedly publishing 10 questions asking the Prime Minister to explain his extra-marital relationships and behaviour, the subjects of widely reported public scandals this year. Several other newspapers and journalists have also come under attack by Mr Berlusconi and his supporters.
"It is not only an attack on La Repubblica but on freedom of the press", said Mr Mauro.
"Is it right that, in Italy, you're a journalist and you criticise Mr Berlusconi even a little bit and you actually have to worry about your position and your future? That is a big problem in our every day life as journalists because that can make you self-censor information that you're going to write about."
Mr Mauro said repeatedly publishing the 10 questions was a legitimate journalistic action because Mr Berlusconi refused to answer them.
He also said Mr Berlusconi's private life was a legitimate subject of journalistic investigation because of its political implications, because Mr Berlusconi raised the subject himself, and because of questions that have been raised - by Mr Belusconi's wife among others - about his behaviour and his health.
"It could be said that Mr Berlusconi has an enormous talent for dismantling the wall between private and public life," said Mr Mauro. "Mr Berlusconi published a book with private photos and public photos included. He has turned attention to his private life corresponding with his public life, and its basis for the success of his career."
"But this has turned against him," Mr Mauro said. Mr Berlusconi has "become a prisoner of the macho personality he has built with his own hands."
Mr Mauro was the keynote speaker at the World Editor Forum's 2015 Newsroom Conference. Xavier Vidal-Folch, President of WEF and Deputy Director of El Pais in Spain, said: "It is not often that press freedom is under threat in the heart of Europe, where a government has forbidden the publication of information of public interest, even if it relates to the private life of a prime minister. This is the case of Italy."
La Repubblica has posted the 10 questions on its website, along with a petition in support of a free press.
More comments from Mr Mauro can be found here.