Cinzia Padovani takes an in-depth look at Italian public service broadcasting, covering its history, its role in Italian society, its relationship to the political party system, and its influence on cultural and linguistic unification in Italy. Tracing the history and development of Italian public television broadcaster Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) to the present, Padovani challenges traditional views by asserting that parties' 'interference' in RAI has, at times, strengthened the role of public service broadcasting and that partisan journalism has even enhanced democratic potential.
Offering a thorough, well-documented examination of the nexus between Italian politics and public television over the past 60 years, Padovani concludes that government involvement in the television system may have in some ways improved the public service role of state-owned television broadcasting. She explains how a political quota system served to stabilize the system in an ironic sort of way. Detailed and current (the author includes many mentions of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his party, and his private media holdings), the book is undoubtedly the most thorough examination of the topic available in English. Highly recommended. * CHOICE *
A fantastic book. Essential reading for anyone interested in politics, communication, or Italy. -- David Cox, Broadcasting Policy Group, London
A Fatal Attraction is what really happens to the reader of Padovani's book after a few pages: you cannot stop reading it. It is not only a skillfully and professionally crafted analysis of the fascinating relationship between, and history of, politics and media journalism in Italy. It is also a passionate journey through the troubled waters of the relationships between truth and power, in search of the meaning of the former in media and of the boundaries of the latter in democracy. I would recommend the book to anyone who is concerned with the future of democracy in our societies. -- Sergio Finardi, journalist and U.S. correspondent for il manifesto (Rome)
A Fatal Attraction proves to be a useful and resourceful book for scholars of Italian politics and media culture, but also for readers interested in studying examples of public media that challenge and deviate from the dominant Anglo-Saxon model of political independence. -- Michela Ardizzoni, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA * Journal Of International Communication *
The book is very rich and extremely very well documented....Padovani's book is a very good starting point for a discussion on pluralism on the media and the different ways to practice it and to enrich it making a better democratic life possible giving all the different parts of the society the same rights of expression. -- Paolo Mancini * Political Communication *
The history of Italian television is . . . relevant not only for comprehending the history of the country but also, in particular, for understanding the present phase of its politics. This book is a valuable resource for anyone wishing to develop such an understanding. -- Giuseppe Richeri, University of Italian Switzerland, from the Foreword