Covid: the situation is getting worse, but the news remains optimistic

Despite infection surge, primetime shows support for anti-Covid measures

The news from 20 to 24 December – On Monday, there were several reports on the European authorities’ approval of the Novavax serum, while from Tuesday onwards, the harsh figures of the pandemic returned to the front page, reaching a peak of over 50,000 newly infected people on Christmas Eve. Despite these alarming numbers, the media were not particularly alarmed, and the story-telling of the battle against Covid was on the whole positive, with headlines and reports dedicated to the measures put in place with Thursday’s new anti-Covid policy, accompanied by a substantial consensus. Numerous interviews with doctors, epidemiologists and experts confirm that the worsening of the picture is in line with the already foreseen scenarios, with Tg5 paying tribute in a headline to the commitment and self-sacrifice of health workers.

Tg3: Italy’s situation is much better than a year ago

This partly ‘reassuring’ reading is expressed in many reports, which, even in the face of intensive care units filling up, continue to consider it a glass-half-full situation. It is also emphasised by comparison with the international trend of the contagion, with new and more severe peaks in both Germany and the United Kingdom (several mentions in the headlines). Enrico Mentana is very clear, commenting on several occasions on how the situation appears to have improved markedly between last year and today. A similar assessment is made by Tg3, which on Friday devotes an editorial to the memory of Christmas 2020, lived in total lockdown and the success of the vaccination campaign inaugurated just a year ago. The negative point on this perspective remains the hardcore of 5 million unvaccinated people, the subject of several reports during the week on both Tg4 and Tg La7.

Draghi “spreads” the cards. Sorgi at Tg1: “ready” for the Quirinal.

With the confidence vote in the Senate on the economic manoeuvre and the race for the Quirinal is increasingly dominating the political page, with the statements made by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Wednesday (shown at the top of the page). Prime Minister Draghi’s “non-availability” (Tg La7) to ascend to the Colle sent party politics into turmoil, giving rise to a series of “invitations to stay” that stood out above all in the Mediaset newspapers, which on Thursday relaunched the response of the “united centre-right”. At the same time, Tg1 picked up the comment of columnist Marcello Sorgi of La Stampa on Wednesday, for whom the Prime Minister had put forward an actual availability. Transversal services also for the “last” institutional greetings of the Head of State Sergio Mattarella, present in 15 headlines.

Tg4 punishes the Government on green conversion

The Mediaset news continues to focus on economic issues and, in particular, on the inconvenience caused by rising energy prices and on the complaints of the CGIL for hundreds of companies at risk in the Country. An interesting in-depth report on Thursday by Tg4 focused on the problems in energy reconversion and nuclear waste management, with comments by Piero Sansonetti and Alessandro Plateroti, Deputy Director of Il Sole 24 Ore. RAI news coverage of the funerals of the workers who died in the crane collapse in Turin. Tg La7 focuses on foreign affairs, reporting on the election of the new Chilean President on Tuesday and Putin’s end-of-year conference on Thursday. The Russian leader proposed Italy as a mediator between Russia, the United States and Europe to resolve tensions on the Ukrainian front.


2020 versus 2021: a comparison


Looking back at the year of prime time that is drawing to a close, it should be noted that, in terms of audience, the slice of audience gained in 2020, and in particular in the lockdown period, has become much smaller. The Osservatorio Tg Eurispes – CoRiS Sapienza will continue to address this issue in its six-monthly analyses.

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