Citizen Berlusconi


I would like to propose two laws to be passed in 2006.
The first law approved by parliament would provide for the total division of those that are in politics and those that possess information media.
The second law should forbid any group or any private person to control information media at a national level.
And after that, perhaps, we can talk about democracy in Italy.

I’m publishing a piece about management of TV in Europe from the book “Inciucio” by Marco Travaglio.

“The Spain of José Luís Rodriguez Zapatero is only the last of the great European countries to release, at least partially public television from the direct control of the parties and/or the government.
For years, for scores of years almost all of the rest of Europe had done this. It would take a long time to describe in detail how the various continental TV systems work. But some brief summary may help us understand why the Italian case causes so much scandal abroad (and little in Italy).

In Spain, until a few months ago, the Board of Directors of the Rtve, which broadcasts Tve1 and Tve2, was nominated by Parliament (with a majority of two thirds) and the Director General was nominated by the Government. They stayed in post for 4 years, the same time as the Government.

Just as in Italy, they changed colour with the change of Government.

Then Zapatero arrived, in an atmosphere of growing intolerance by public opinion against the politicised public TV that had hidden big demonstrations in the streets against Aznar (but didn’t manage to camouflage the lies of the conservative prime minister as he was leaving office about the Al Quaida attacks in Madrid).

As soon as he came to power, Zapatero placed at the head of the Rtve a university lecturer in communications, really prestigious but not a member of any political party, who has started to clean up the TV screens of the Telebaseness, that is, the TV rubbish of reality and trash. Then he nominated a commission of five wise people “super partes”, headed up by the philosopher Emilio Lledó and made up of those knowledgeable about mass media as well as intellectuals (including a teacher of ethics) to rewrite the law about broadcasting.

In June 2005 the reform became law.

The key point is the dramatic change to the way the Rtve top people are elected. The Director General will be elected by the Board of Directors, and not by the Government, with a majority of two thirds, and exclusively from participants in a public competition.

The Board of Directors will be in power for 6 years so that their terms of office don’t coincide with the end of the legislature, and it will be made up of 2 members elected by the Senate and 2 by the Congress (always with two thirds of the votes): 2 chosen by the Trades Unions and 2 by the Audiovisual Council (which regulates frequencies, costs, publicity flows).
An independent authority, the Consejo de información will monitor the pluralism and the choices of the Board of Directors, and will have the power to block the Director General.

So far Zapatero has opened the frequency market to new private entities. Before, the commercial TV was monopolised by the Berlusconian Telecinco and by Antena3, owned by De Agostini and Maurizio Carlotti (ex Director of Fininvest).

Now the Prisa di Jesús Polanco (already owner of «El País» and of Radio Cadena Ser) will also arrive together with at least one other group. Among the protests came those of the Spanish representatives of Mediaset, who were crying “coup” just because of the risk of a bit of competition…

However, in no European country, does the head of the Government possess TV channels, since conflict of interest is severely forbidden everywhere. And TV pluralism is more or less guaranteed by the presence in the market of private broadcasters.”

Marco Travaglio

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 11:03 AM in | Comments (3)
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Dear Mr Grillo

This morning, i cleaned a room space filled of instruction manuals o the "horde" of technological devices that everyman today needs or anyway owns, and realized a simple thing, that maybe many already are aware of but that i understand only now.
Information goes in the same direction of instruction manuals.
Spams you with everything and try to keep you busy, and away from the few really important thing you should know.
Gives you unnecessary information, to limit your "investigation" time and need for important (which frequently means dangerous) information.

If i were to control info i would think:
"Why should we try to censor information (and bring attention to the fact i want to hide) when i can simply spam over it?

i need to think about this, seems interesting to me.

Have a nice time all, and thanks to Mr Grillo's straight-forward approach :)

Davide Averara

Posted by: davide averara | February 16, 2006 11:11 AM

For an excellent analysis of the Berlusconi effect on Italian democracy check out the interview (below) with Alexander Stille, professor of journalism at Columbia University. Stille's book "Excellent Cadavers - the Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic" (Jonathan Cape 1995) is one of the best things around on the mafia.

Posted by: Maureen Lister | December 31, 2005 03:34 PM

People around the world interested on the tragical political situation in Italy,
there's a Movie, shown all around the globe but never, !NEVER! in Italy. The name of this famous Movie is exactly
made by Andrea Cairola e Susan Gray.
In Italy this movie can be seen almost clandestinely only on internet !!
I posted the movie “CITIZEN BERLUSCONI” on my blog,
on November 7th 2005. So if you wish, be my guest.

Maurizio Scalzi ___________________

Posted by: Maurizio Scalzi | December 14, 2005 01:58 PM

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