Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

‘Berlusconi's Italy’: the media between structure and agency

  • Cinzia Padovani (a1)

Abstract

In this article, I explore the conditions of the media in Italy by taking into consideration a variety of elements: the context of media legislation and media concentration that have favoured the interests of Silvio Berlusconi, and the role of progressive agency (media professionals, citizens' groups) as they worked within those constraints to keep alive the flames of democracy during the ‘Berlusconi era’. This perspective is intended to provide an alternative interpretation to what has become the prevailing view of contemporary Italy: an ‘abnormal’ country; the ‘Sick Man of Europe’; worse yet: a country of ‘servants’. The framework of analysis includes the influence of the media-magnate-turned-politician on media legislation and the television sector, but also evaluates the important roles that media professionals and citizens have played to improve pluralism. The article argues that despite extreme levels of media concentration and an unprecedented conflict of interests, a commitment to engage in political discourse has continued to characterise Italy's political culture. This commitment has been expressed by a multiplicity of actors, from journalists and media professionals to citizens' organisations and media activists.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      ‘Berlusconi's Italy’: the media between structure and agency
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      ‘Berlusconi's Italy’: the media between structure and agency
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      ‘Berlusconi's Italy’: the media between structure and agency
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Email: padovani@siu.edu

References

Hide All
AGCOM. 2012. “Annual report on the activity carried out and on the work programmes.” Accessed October 13, 2013. http://www.agcom.it/Default.aspx?message=contenuto&DCId=5
AGCOM. 2013. “Relazione annuale 2013: sull'attività svolta e sui programmi di lavoro.” Accessed May 20, 2014. http://www.agcom.it/relazioni-annuali
Andrews, G. 2005. Not A Normal Country: Italy After Berlusconi. London: Pluto.
CENSIS. 2013. “Italy Today: Social Picture & Trends.” Accessed April 25, 2014. http://xmanager.atcloud.it/application/xmanager/projects/censis/flle/Italy_Today__2013.pdf
Cepernich, C. 2009. “The Changing Face of the Media: A Catalogue of Anomalies.” In Resisting the Tide: Cultures of Opposition Under Berlusconi (2001–06), edited by Albertazzi, Daniele, Brook, Clodagh, Ross, Charlotte, and Rothenberg, Nina, 3145. London: Continuum.
Colapinto, C. 2010. “Moving to a Multichannel and Multiplatform Company in the Emerging and Digital Media Ecosystem: The Case of Mediaset Group.” The International Journal on Media Management 12(2):5975.
Corriere della Sera. 2010. “‘Telefonate per fermare Annozero’ Trani, indagati Berlusconi e Minzolini.” March 12. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://www.corriere.it/politica/speciali/2010/elezioni/notizie/di_pietro_minzolini_tv_e7f902d8-2dc6-11df-ab2a-00144f02aabe.shtml
Couldry, N. 2004. “Theorizing Media as Practice.” Social Semiotics 14(2):115132.
D'Argenio, A. 2011. “Giornalista del Tg1 lascia la conduzione.” La Repubblica, May 25. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2011/05/25/giornalista-del-tg1-lascia-la-conduzione.html
DEMOS & PI Research. 2014. Sulle Tracce della Società e dell'Opinione Pubblica. Accessed August 4, 2014. http://www.demos.it/a00848.php?ref=NRCT-2
Downing, J. D. H., Ford, T. V., Gil, G., and Stein, L. 2001. Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Foschini, G. 2010. “Trani: Berlusconi, Innocenzi e Minzolini indagati ‘Pressioni su Tg1 e Agcom, concussione’.” La Repubblica, March 12. Accessed August 23, 2014. http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2010/03/12/news/inchiesta_a_trani_telefonate_per_bloccare_annozero_berlusconi_fece_pressioni_su_tg1_e_agcom-2602943/
Gerbaudo, P. 2012. “Murdoch vs. Berlusconi: The Battle for the Control of Italian Media.” Global Media and Communication 8(1):711.
Giddens, A. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Oakland: University of California Press.
Ginsborg, P. 2003. Italy and Its Discontents: Family, Civil Society, State 1980–2001. London: Penguin.
Habermas, J. 2006. “Political Communication in Media Society-Does Democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The Impact of Normative Theory on Empirical Research.” Communication Theory 16(4):411426.
Hanretty, C. 2010. “The media between Market and Politics.” In Italy Today: The Sick Man of Europe, edited by Mammone, Andrea and Veltri, Giuseppe A., 8598. London: Routledge.
IEM. 2012. L'Industria Della Comunicazione in Italia: XIV Rapporto Iem. Turin: Fondazione Rosselli.
Juris, J. S. 2005a. “The New Digital Media and Activist Networking within Anti-Corporate Globalization Movements.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 597(1):189208.
Juris, J. S. 2005b. “Violence Performed and Imagined Militant Action: The Black Bloc and the Mass Media in Genoa.” Critique of Anthropology 25(4):413443.
Law no.112. May 3 2004. “Norme di principio in materia di assetto del sistema radiotelevisivo e della RAI - Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A., nonché delega al Governo per l'emanazione del testo unico della radiotelevisione.” Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.camera.it/parlam/leggi/041121.htm
Law no. 223. August 6, 1990. “Disciplina del sistema radiotelevisivo pubblico e privato.” Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.camera.it/_bicamerali/rai/norme/1223-90.htm
Law no. 249. July 31, 1997. “Istituzione dell'Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni e norme sui sistemi delle telecomunicazioni e radiotelevisivo.” Accessed November 1, 2014. http://www.parlamento.it/parlam/leggi/972491.htm
L'Espresso. 2010. “Agostino, Silvio, fiction e starlette. Tutte le intercettazioni.” August 5, 2010. Accessed July 27, 2014. http://espresso.repubblica.it/speciali/2010/08/05/news/agostino-silvio-fiction-e-starlette-br-tutte-le-intercettazioni-1.24516
Mancini, P. 2011. Between Commodification and Lifestyle Politics Does Silvio Berlusconi Provide a New Model of Politics for the Twenty-First Century? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mattoni, A. 2012. Media Practices and Protest Politics How Precarious Workers Mobilise. Farnham: Ashgate.
Mazzoleni, G., and Sfardini, A. 2009. Politica Pop Da “Porta a Porta” a “L'Isola dei famosi”. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Mosco, V. 2009. Political Economy of Communication. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Noam, E. M. 2010. Media Ownership and Concentration in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Padovani, C. 2005. A Fatal Attraction: Public Television and Politics in Italy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Padovani, C. 2009. “Pluralism of Information in the Television Sector in Italy: History and Contemporary Conditions.” In Press Freedom in Europe Concepts and Conditions, edited by Czepek, Andrea, Hellwig, Melanie, and Nowak, Eva, 287302. Bristol: Intellect.
Padovani, C. 2010. “Citizens' Communication and the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy.” The International Journal of Communication 4:416439.
Padovani, C. 2013. “Activists' Communication in a Post-Disaster Zone: Cross-Media Strategies for Protest Mobilization in L'Aquila, Italy.” In Mediation and Mobilization, edited by Cammaerts, Bart, McCurdy, Patrick, and Mattoni, Alice, 179204. London: Routledge.
Palestini, L. 2010. “Busi: ‘Sì, è scattata una rappresaglia mai visto osare tanto, e perdiamo ascolti’.” La Repubblica, April 1. Accessed August 7, 2014. http://www.repubblica.it/politica/2010/04/01/news/busi_s_scattata_una_rappresaglia_mai_visto_osare_tanto_e_perdiamo_ascolti-3058917/
Pilati, A. 1996. “Introduzione.” In L'Industria Delia Comunicazione in Italia: Terzo Rapporto IEM, edited by Rosselli, Fondazione, 35. Milan: Guerini e Associati.
RAI. 2002. “Annual Report 2002.” Accessed March 20, 2014. http://www.bilancio2002.rai.it/uk/bilancio/cons07.htm
RAI. 2006. “Report and Financial Statements at 31 December 2006.” Accessed March 20, 2014. http://www.bilancio2006.rai.it/uk/bilancio/cons02.htm
RAI. 2012. “Reports and financial statements 2012.” Accessed March 20, 2014. http://www.rai.it/dl/bilancio2012/eng/bilancio/civ05.htm
Randacio, E., and Galbiati, W. 2007. “La rete segreta del Cavaliere che pilotava Rai e Mediaset.” La Repubblica, November 21. Accessed August 24, 2014. http://www.repubblica.it/2007/11/sezioni/cronaca/media-rai/media-rai/media-rai.html
Ricciardi, A. 2012. After La Dolce Vita A Cultural History of Berlusconi's Italy. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.
Rocca, G. 1990. “Tutto nel Nome Di ‘Sua Emittenza’.” La Repubblica, July 27. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/1990/07/27/tutto-nel-nome-di-sua-emittenza.html
Rothenberg, N. 2009. “Political Cleansing and Censorship in Public Television – A Case Study of Michele Santoro and Enzo Biagi.” In Resisting the Tide: Cultures of Opposition Under Berlusconi (2001–06), edited by Albertazzi, Daniele, Brook, Clodagh, Ross, Charlotte, and Rothenberg, Nina, 3145. London: Continuum.
Siliato, F. 2013. “Talk, il grande flop.” Europa, November 8:13.
Soroka, S., Andrew, B., Aalberg, T., Iyengar, S., Curran, J., Coen, S., Hayashi, K., et al. 2012. “Auntie Knows Best? Public Broadcasters and Current Affairs Knowledge.” British Journal of Political Science 43(04):121.
Splichal, S. 1994. Media Beyond Socialism: Theory An Practice in East-Central Europe. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Stetka, V. 2010. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place? Market Concentration, Local Ownership and Media Autonomy in the Czech Republic.” The International Journal of Communication 4:865885.
Treré, E. 2012. “Social Movements as Information Ecologies: Exploring the Coevolution of Multiple Internet Technologies for Activism.” The International Journal of Communication 6:23592377.
Viroli, M. 2012. The Liberty of Servants: Berlusconi's Italy. Translated by Shugaar, Anthony. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Vitale, G. 2009. “Rai, Garimberti porta il caso Tg1 in Cda Protesta dei giornalisti contro Minzolini.” La Repubblica, June 24. Accessed August 23, 2014. http://www.repubblica.it/2009/06/sezioni/politica/berlusconi-divorzio-10/tg1-cda/tg1-cda.html
Vivarelli, M. 2004. “Broadcast Deregulation, Italian Style.” Daily Variety, April 30.
Zecchinelli, C. 2002. “Italy News Cues Up.” Daily Variety, March 20.

Keywords

‘Berlusconi's Italy’: the media between structure and agency

  • Cinzia Padovani (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed