Fragile Journalism: The Last 52 Days of the Election Campaign 2006

June 26, 2008 • Ethics and Quality, Media and Politics • by

Comunicazione Politica, Vol. IX, No. 1, 2008
Giovanni Zavaritt
During the last two months of the national election campaign in 2006, Italian political journalism persisted in its fragile condition of subordination towards the political system.

This hypothesis is confirmed by a content analysis which investigates the coverage assigned to the two candidates (Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi), in the pages of Corriere della Sera and Il Sole24 Ore, during the last 52 days of campaigning. The analysis lead to three main results. First, the Italian political journalism is still dominated by its “collateralism”, a symbiotic relationship with and dependence from the political system: especially the Corriere della Sera has been strongly partisan, supporting the centre-left candidate and criticizing the centre-right one. Second, as it is evident looking at the topics related to the two candidates, the agenda of the campaign was build up following the interests of the two coalition’s strategies and not following the criteria of journalistic activity and agenda setting. Third, during the 2006 campaign, the news production in Italy was influenced by the international trends of commercialization. This means that political journalism has been more focused on personal and campaign issues, than on policy ones.
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