Posts Tagged ‘July 22’
There are reasons why people in and out of Italy believe Silvio Berlusconi is one of the main causes of the dumbing down of Italian people.
The main reasoning is that he has produced a new TV-dependent culture that increasingly has a more difficult time producing critical thoughts on a wide array of subjects. He has been able to set up, to put it in Marshall McLuhan’s words, the “continually beating tribal drum,” where the media is in a state of perpetual inflation of the news.
There are still some who read papers, though, and so to mitigate whatever critical thinking these readers might develop, Berlusconi has been careful to craft the newspaper version of his television credo.
Il Giornale, the daily newspaper that the current Italian prime minister bought in 1977 and sold to his brother Paolo in 1994, is his “drum-beat” machine in the newspaper industry, occasionally supported by the right-wing efforts of other pro-Berlusconi “drum-beaters” such as Libero.
The problem is much larger than a pro- or anti-Berlusconi stance of newspapers in Italy. It is the ultimate watered-down cultural environment they are producing that is most worrisome.
What’s worse, a newspaper like Il Giornale seems to have internalized and adopted a Mediaset (the media empire belonging to the Berlusconi family) approach to news. Instead of striving to be an instrument of truth and enlightenment, the paper has thrown all its aspirations of educating while informing out the window, chasing news stories with an approach that is so simplistic it is horrifying.
This morning, before doing my usual round of Italian news websites, I was feeling a little sleepy, so I took my time sipping my coffee and checking out what was going on on Twitter.
A post by famous Italian journalist and former Sole 24 Ore editor in chief Gianni Riotta caught my attention immediately. Around 8:40 a.m. EST, Riotta posted the following tweet:
What that links to is the integral and unedited version of “2083. A European Declaration of Independence,” an over-1,000 page document allegedly written by Andrew Berwick, which sounds like the Anglicized name of Anders Breivik, the alleged mass-murderer who is suspected of placing a bomb in downtown Oslo and going off on a shooting spree on the island of Utoya, where a youth gathering of Norway’s ruling Labour Party was taking place.
At the moment, the number of victims is up to 93.
I was surprised and shocked at the same time to see this document in its entirety. Being a journalist myself, I quickly downloaded it and started going through its long index. Continue Reading »