Posts Tagged ‘tv’

By now, you’d think Francesco Di Stefano would be well known among Italians. Unfortunately, he’s not.

After 11 years of legal battles and millions of euros spent, Di Stefano can finally see his dream come true: He will be able to open a national TV channel in the Berlusconi-dominated media landscape of Italy.

Di Stefano’s story, which has never made the headlines, explains all too well why Berlusconi can still today hold such a vast media empire and be prime minister, without anyone seriously challenging his blatant conflict of interests.

In mid-1999, Di Stefano won a public contract from the Italian Ministry of Communications to establish a national TV channel that would reach at least 80 percent of Italian households. But there was a problem: The frequency his TV, Europa 7, was supposed to get was already occupied by Rete 4, one of Silvio Berlusconi’s three private TV channels. (The other two being Canale 5 and Italia 1)

Francesco Di Stefano


Although Rete 4’s occupancy had been ruled unlawful based on a 1997 anti-concentration law, the Ministry of Communications did little more than shrug its shoulders, acknowledging that it was physically impossible for Europa 7 to get a frequency.

Di Stefano, who at the time spent little over $8 million to get the frequency, wasn’t going to give up that easily.
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Every day I grow more convinced that what we are fed by the media is what we end up being interested in…

Tiger Woods.

We want to read, see, hear about Tiger Woods because everyone is talking about him. That’s all TV is spitting out at us.

The media feeds unimportant news to us and we gobble it all up. And we’re happy. We’re happy because we get to fall asleep in front of the TV screen. Our brains aren’t forced to think constantly. There is no need to worry. Look, Woods has it much worse. Or does he?
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The next three years – that is, up to the 2013 elections – will be the toughest for Italy’s democracy, its Constitution and Italians in general.

In the meantime, the recent regional elections have given a strong boost to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s populist model of governing.

Berlusconi believes that by winning elections he is mandated to do whatever he wants, including changing Italy’s Constitution and radically modifying the balance of powers that has kept Italian democracy in check for the past six decades.
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Here is a very interesting and well-done BBC documentary by journalist Mark Franchetti. It aired on British TV on March 17.

Titled “The Berlusconi Show,” the documentary gives a general overview of Berlusconi’s life, career, political successes and failures, his troubles with justice, his affairs, his alleged ties with the Mafia and much more.
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On Thursday, more than 185,000 people tuned into the online streaming of Raiperunanotte, a special edition of Annozero, a public TV program shut down for a few weeks by the government of Silvio Berlusconi.

Servers were on the point of melting down, buffering capacities were stretched to the limit.
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In 2005, Al Gore launched Current TV, self-described as a “peer-to-peer news and information network.”

Now the Emmy Award-winning network is helping some Italian broadcast journalists find a voice after being virtually laid off by the Italian government for the next three weeks.
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