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Concentration of assets in Italy:
Channel Berlusconi

There are no too many alternatives in the Italian televising panorama: excluding “the 7”, been born to be `third pole' - bought and suspended by TelecomItalia (Telephone the Italian) -, a total of six generalist national televisions obeys the orders of Berlusconi painting a country that does not exist


It is not possible to be spoken of the Italian mediatic situation without speaking of Silvio Berlusconi, the king of the private televisions. In Italy, where the television is the queen of the information without contrasting, `Cavaliere' owns three national televisions: It challenges 4, Italy 1 and Canale 5, and in these years of government it has put under rigid control the state RAI1, RAI2 and RAI3. These six chains have 89% of annual average hearing of Italy.

But there are some problems that shake this televising universe of unique thought; the legal situation of the televisions of Berlusconi is uncertain. The Italian law never has been able to regulate of effective way the televising sector and in 20 years laws have been only promulgated that were limited to legalize the already existing situation without introducing ties to a televising duopoly (Be-Berlusconi) that is an insult to pluralism and the democracy.

A television of Berlusconi (It challenges 4), that enjoys without licenses of the frequencies assigned to another transmitter, is at issue from 1999 July. The last term to regularize its situation was the 1 of January of 2004. And what you like president would do of the Government if somebody (the Constitutional Court) had tried quitarte a precious transmitter and to put it to pass on from a satellite? Nothing else simple: to order to your parliamentary majority to make a new law. The Law Gasparri (last name of the minister of Communications) was approved in spite of the president of the Republic.

Its text recognizes the opinion of the Constitutional Court (there is lack of pluralism) but offers a new solution to the problem, without clearing the frequencies to Challenges 4. How? It is needed to extend the supply, and here it leaves the white rabbit: the terrestrial digitalis. That is to say, if It challenges 4 it must leave space to another transmitter because the frequencies in the air are limited, this is not going to happen with the introduction of a digital system where there are resources so that all can pass on: thus Berlusconi maintains their empire complete and with the money of the citizens she finances digital decoders.

Meanwhile, to complete the dirty work, the Law Gasparri has raised the ceiling of propietary concentration in the sector of means, granting to a group that already is a squid in the market the possibility of extending itself still more.

Berlusconi (aside from the three televisions) controls directly or indirectly three national newspapers (one of his wife, one of its brother, one of friendly his), the advertizing concessionary major Italian Publitalia (the income by publicity of the chains of Berlusconi have increased spectacularly at the cost of those of RAI), the greater Italian publishing house, Mondadori, without counting companies of cinematographic production, chains of cinemas, insurances, banks, the football team of Milan and foreign companies like Telecinco.

And nobody complaint of all this? Perhaps perhaps the forces of the opposition shout to the regime, protest but in the end they feel in the same table of power that Berlusconi. The journalists, the intellectuals and the comedians try to explain the people l who are happening; but in the end the freedom of opinion in the Italian television is victim of an enterprise management of the world that prevails with Berlusconi and their disciples. You have something against the landlord? Care, that is going to you to dismiss!

Two journalists very met the television, Michele Santoro, conductor of an uncomfortable program of the present time, and Enzo Biagi, one of the most credited Italian journalists, dean of the profession, was dismissed. The president of the Government communicated the dismissal in an official press conference (one of those in which Berlusconi perhaps explains also the alignment of attack of Milan). The humorous and satirical programs sometimes are censured and stopped, accused to make policy.

Without a doubt they remain in the television it publishes his friendly, those that let speak to Silvio during hours, although is the Pope on the verge of dying (this happened some weeks ago in the first public channel); they are those that prevent the trasmisión in direct of great manifestations: the manifestation for La Paz in Rome 2003 with hundreds of thousands of people; they are those that make transmit in deferred the traditional concert from the 1 of May in the capital to control that nobody says to something `prohibited' (never some communist singer knows itself… perhaps).

What to say more? In the European mediatic panorama (victim of great concentrations of being able), the Italian case does not have antecedents. It is not more remedy than to look for the news in other means, to inquire in Internet and to read few independent newspapers, hoping that a day the Italians are not clear more in the paper country maché of the televisions and they awake of the nightmare of the berlusconiano dream.



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