21 June 2012Media in Italy and the digital challengeItaly’s state television RAIand the need for reformBy Gianluca Martell...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   The Mapping Digital Media project   In early 2011 th...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   New appointments, old procedures   As the mandate of...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   A limited company   RAI started regular television b...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Who pays?                                           ...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Who is in charge?                           Parliame...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Parceling out appointments   As the previous slide s...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Public but transparent TV   Privatisation of RAI has...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   The BBC model: an example for PSBs?                 ...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   A reform that hasn’t happened (yet)   In order to re...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Reform proposals (1)                                ...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Reform proposals (2)    MoveOn Italia, a group inspi...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012     Reform proposals (3)   The Open Society Foundation...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Conclusions   As the neverending disputes over RAI’s...
Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012   Useful links   Open Society Foundation:   • Mapping ...
Thanks!If you appreciated the presentation forward it to your friends                    and support our project!         ...
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Italy's state television RAI and the need for reform

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With recent changes in its top management, Italy’s state broadcaster, RAI, has come back into the spotlight. As usual, discussions revolve around appointments and their political dependence. But how does the Italian state television work, and who is in charge of appointment procedures?
This slide-show is a preview of the project "Media in Italy and the digital challenge", which quattrogatti.info has carried out with the support of the Open Society Foundation. The project is divided in three main episodes, focussing on information sources, digital terrestrial television and online journalism.

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Italy's state television RAI and the need for reform

  1. 1. 21 June 2012Media in Italy and the digital challengeItaly’s state television RAIand the need for reformBy Gianluca MartellianoAnd Davide MorisiWith the support of
  2. 2. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 The Mapping Digital Media project In early 2011 the Open Society Foundation (OSF) launched the Mapping Digital Media project to examine the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Among the 60 countries in the study, the situation in Italy was analysed in a detailed report published in October 2011. Thanks to funding from OSF quattrogatti.info has developed a series of slide-shows and videos highlighting key aspects of this report as well as new data and analysis.In this first presentation we concentrate on Italy’s state broadcaster RAI and recent proposals for reform. www.quattrogatti.info
  3. 3. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 New appointments, old procedures As the mandate of the RAI board is coming to an end, potential candidates are being thrown into the arena. For the first time Parliament prepares to select the new Board with candidates selected not only by political parties but also by civil society. It is therefore worth understanding how RAI works, and, especially, why a reform of the Italian public service broadcaster is urgent. Photo by ginozar www.quattrogatti.info
  4. 4. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 A limited company RAI started regular television broadcasting in 1954 and is still the exclusive concessionaire of public radio and television. As established by its statute, Rai-Radiotelevisione Italiana is a limited company, controlled: • 99. 56% by the Ministry of Economy, • 0.44% by SIAE (the Italian society of authors and publishers). The radio and television law (decree law. 177/2005) and the so-called Gasparri Law (Law n. 112/2004) define its function and main roles, including producing programmes «devoted to education, information, training and cultural promotion». www.quattrogatti.info
  5. 5. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Who pays? Sources of RAI funding 2010 (Total revenue: 3012 million euros) RAI is more than half financed by television license fees which in 2010 Copyrights accounted for more than 1.5 billion 3% Other 7% euros. While the fee (112 euros) is in the European average, record numbers avoid Licence paying, with an average of 25/30% Advertising fee 34% compared to 10% throughout Europe2. 56% As well as sustaining the public service function the licence fee also helps RAI not to exceed the 12% per hour advertising limit in prime time (while Source: RAI’s 2010 Budget (“Bilancio Rai 2010”) private TV reaches 18%).2. Rai,official data, Bilancio 2010. According to a study by the Italian taxpayers’ association (2012) www.quattrogatti.infothe percentage of those that do not pay the license fee is as high as 87% in some regions.
  6. 6. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Who is in charge? Parliamentary committee Ministry of Economy (“Commissione di Vigilanza”) 40 members among senators and MPs Appoints to members of (the head is chosen from the ranks of the opposition) the Boards. Appoints 7 members of the Board. Indicates the President of Elects the President of the Board whose name is indicated by the Board the Ministry of Economy 7 + 2 The Board Guarantees public service broadcasting. 9 members (including the President) with a renewable mandate of 3 years. Appoints the Director General, network and news directors Director General Network Answers to the Board for company management and News directors In charge of programming supervision. directors for channels 3 year renewable term www.quattrogatti.infoSources: lo statuto della Rai, Testo Unico della radiotelevisione (d. lgs. 177/2005)
  7. 7. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Parceling out appointments As the previous slide shows, RAI is almost completely controlled by political parties by means of the appointment of the members of the Board by Parliament and Government. In Italy this political control has ended up by producing a system known as «lottizzazione». This means the parceling out of the key posts on the basis of party membership rather than skill and experience. This practice is «incompatible with the Council of Europe guidelines to guarantee the indipendence of public servicve broadcasters»3. www.quattrogatti.info3. See Open Society Foundation, “Mapping Digital Media – Italy”, page 10
  8. 8. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Public but transparent TV Privatisation of RAI has been repeatedly discussed as a drastic remedy for party control. However, considering other broadcasters such as the BBC it is clear that state ownership does not necessarily mean a lack of independence. The difference between RAI and the BBC lies in the way the Board is selected. In the case of the BBC, the process is: • Open (anyone can apply); • Public (the position is published online); • Transparent (all the Board CVs can be consulted online). Together with the management structure of the BBC these criteria contribute to making public corporations accountable to citizens and to ensuring Board members are competent and free of party interference. www.quattrogatti.info
  9. 9. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 The BBC model: an example for PSBs? Royal Charter, the «constitution» of the BBC Guarantees independence, defines the functions of the BBC Trust and the Executive Board, defines the public service mission: “to inform, educate, entertain” Executive Board BBC Trust Manages the BBC according to Defines strategies, approves the strategies defined by the Trust budget, guarantees that the BBC is managed in the interest of the public 11 members selected through public calls: 12 members selected through an open selection process (selected candidates are approved by the • one Director General Ministry, the Prime Minister and finally by the Queen) • 5 internal executive directors • 5 external non-executive Appoints the Director General and approves the directors appointment of the 5 non-executive directors in the Executive Board www.quattrogatti.infoFonti: BBC, BBC Trust
  10. 10. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 A reform that hasn’t happened (yet) In order to reform RAI and free it from political interference a structural change is necessary, following the latest reforms4. In early 2012 Prime Minister 2012 described RAI as «a striking example of a corporation that needs reform». As interim Minister of Economy he appointed the new RAI president, Anna Maria Tarantola, and – stretching the rules – the Director General, Carlo Gubitosi. At present, however, there is still no clear vision of when and how RAI will be reformed and the new Clipart di Rejon Board has not yet been appointed.4. The main RAI reform still dates back to 1975 (Law 103/1975). This reform shifted control over publicbroadcasting from government to parliament and confirmed the state monopoly. In 2004 the Gasparri www.quattrogatti.infolaw partially reintroduced the Government’s control in the appointment of two Board members.
  11. 11. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Reform proposals (1) The Open Media Coalition has made strenuous calls for changing the selection procedure for the RAI Board. The coalition gathering associations defending pluralism and freedom of information asks parliament and the government to select the new board through “an open, transparent and rigorous selection process”5. The Communication Regulator, Agcom, has also tried to unsuccesfully promote reform to free RAI from “endogenous political influence”6.5. See Vogliamotrasparenza.it www.quattrogatti.info6. Agcom, 2005-2012, Presentation by the President Corrado Calabrò
  12. 12. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Reform proposals (2) MoveOn Italia, a group inspired by the progressive America organisation, proposes a radical reform in five pillars 7: 1. Abolish the anomaly of the Ministry of Ecomomy as the majority pubic service shareholder. 2. Create an Audiovisual Communications Council to replace the current Parliamentary Committee to include members elected from license fee payers, professionals, local institutions and parliament. 3. The council would appoint RAI’s Board members by means of a public selection process 4. The Council would appoint the members of Agcom 5. The Council would be accountable to license fee payers www.quattrogatti.info7. Moveonitalia.wordpress.com
  13. 13. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Reform proposals (3) The Open Society Foundation is also convinced the RAI needs “profound reform” and suggests four pillars8: 1. Introduce a new appointment procedure that will strengthen the guarantees of competence and independence of the board members and the director general. 2. Identify more clearly the public service obligations and start the privatization of the purely commercial part of RAI. 3. Ensure that viewers are allowed to take effective part in developing public service policies. 4. Guarantee sufficient resources for public service innovation and the complete digitization of Italian television. www.quattrogatti.info8. See Open Society Foundation, “Mapping Digital Media – Italy”, pag. 94
  14. 14. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Conclusions As the neverending disputes over RAI’s reform have shown, changing the Italian public service broadcaster risks becoming an impossible task. In nearly 40 years of debate free radio, the Internet and digital TV have taken over. The world has changed and RAI has changed very little. The proposals mentioned before share three key concepts which would be essential to change Italian public service broadcaster: • Transparency • Efficiency • Meritocracy Drawing on these basic, but key foundations RAI can be reformed into a truly independent television, working exclusively in the interest of the public. www.quattrogatti.info
  15. 15. Italy’s state television RAI and the need for reform – 21 June 2012 Useful links Open Society Foundation: • Mapping Digital Media – Italy (Report in English / Report in Italian, non-updated version) Rai: • Statuto Sociale • Decalogo: il canone di abbonamento Rai • Bilancio 2010 • Testo Unico della radiotelevisione (d. lgs. 177/2005) • Legge Gasparri (Legge 3 maggio 2004, n.112) • Vogliamotrasparenza.it • MoveOn Italia • Agcom, Relazione annuale 2011 www.quattrogatti.info
  16. 16. Thanks!If you appreciated the presentation forward it to your friends and support our project! www.quattrogatti.info We thank Iginio Gagliardone (Oxford University) and Oreste Pollicino (Università Bocconi) for comemnts To contact the authors : info@quattrogatti.info To participate: partecipa@quattrogatti.info

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