MILAN — Italy's populist 5-Star Movement is facing criticism after organizers of a conference on its future refused access to a newspaper reporter deemed critical of the party.

Three national and regional journalistic organizations said Saturday that the decision to refuse access to Jacopo Iacoboni, a reporter for the Turin daily La Stampa, was unacceptable "especially since it was made by a political movement that aspires to lead the government of the country."

La Stampa said organizers of the event cited "personal reasons" for their decision and referred to articles Iacoboni had written about the movement. The paper said such a move was "incomprehensible" and that any political force seeking "to run the country should not fear dissenting opinions."

Both the 5-Star Movement and a center-right bloc say they should be given the chance to form Italy's next government.