As new political alliances are being formed in the attempt to establish a new political system away from the corruption of the old system, politics in Italy has been opened up for legitimation to the public sphere of civil society to an unprecedented extent. This would be less of a cause for concern if three of the four national private television channels were not owned by one of the major political protagonists, Silvio Berlusconi. At a crucial time in Italian politics, it would appear that the television news may be unable to provide `fair play' to the competing political parties and collective actors in the vital function of supplying political information. This article presents a comparative analysis of the coverage of political discourse on three television channels (two private, one state). The findings are contextualized within a critical assessment of the media/politics interface and the supply of political information to the Italian public. This article examines three related factors that constitute a process of dynamic change in the television coverage of politics in Italy: first, the increasingly commercial and competitive basis of broadcasting between the state/private `duopoly'; second, the unresolved political conflict over regulatory controls for standards of political expression and media control; and third, the emergence of the television medium as an arena for competition between political actors.
|Translated title of the contribution||Television News and the Public Sphere in Italy: conflicts at the media politics interface|
|Pages (from-to)||509 - 554|
|Number of pages||45|
|Journal||European Journal of Communication|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1996|