|Title||Broadcasting policy in Italy's 'second republic' 1994-2006|
Based on extensive documentary research, this thesis provides an analysis of television policy in Italy’s Second Republic from 1994 to 2006, focusing on four distinct policy issues: the reform of broadcasting regulatory structures resulting in the establishment of a single communications authority (AGCom); the reform of ownership rules for terrestrial television; government approaches to public service broadcasting; and government policy on digital television.Drawing on the literature on comparative European broadcasting policy from social and political science, this thesis examines the ways in which a number of analytically distinct factors – technological change in the shape of digitalisation, the ascendancy of neo-liberalism in Western Europe, EU-level policies, and domestic politics – have interacted with each other and have contributed to shaping broadcasting policy in Italy in these years. The thesis assesses the record in office of the centre-left and centre-right governments and explains the key reasons for policy failure or success.‘Domestic Politics’, it is argued, remains a key factor that accounts for outcomes in broadcasting policy in Italy’s Second Republic. The analysis in particular shows that the governance of both RAI, the public broadcaster, and AGCom, the communications regulator, has been strongly party politicised in these years. The analysis also reveals the instrumentalisation by the centre-right governments led by Silvio Berlusconi (2001-2006) of industrial and socio-cultural policy goals associated with the transition to digital television to further sectional political and economic interests. Finally, ‘politics’ – referring in this case to Italy’s complex institutional structure of the highly fragmented party-system and executive-legislature relationships – is also a key factor to take into account in order to explain the key failures of the centre-left governments in the area of television policy between 1996 and 2001: both the failure to curb Mediaset’s dominant position in the television market through the enforcement of sector-specific media ownership regulation, and the failure to reform public service broadcasting.
|Keywords||Television policy; Italy; Public Service Broadcasting; Digital Television, European Union Media Policy, media ownership, Berlusconi|