Fourth wave, ‘omicron’ variant and vaccine to children

Fears over the “omicron” variant

The TV News from 22 to 26 November. The week’s main topic for all headlines is the raging fourth wave in Europe and the measures put in place by our Country: 11 headlines between Monday and Wednesday dedicated to the “super green pass”. The apprehension, in further growth on Friday – following the arrival of the new variant “omicron”, a mutation of the virus originated in South Africa, but of which some cases have already been found in Europe – imposes itself in the opening for Tg5 and Tg La7, undermining the important Treaty of the Quirinale, which remains the first headline for the RAI TV News (with Tg3 interviewing the former Prime Minister Romano Prodi on what this vital agreement represents).


Vaccine for children, the next frontier of the debate

Compared to the progress of the pandemic in neighbouring countries, with some nations (for now Austria, Slovenia and the Netherlands) in lockdown, the data, though alarming on the gradual increase of our infected and the difficulties that are beginning to appear in intensive care, continue to appear less worrying, thanks to a narrative that recalls how Italy is ahead in the fight against Covid. In-depth reports continue, with Tg4 interviewing Vice-Minister Sileri (Wednesday) and Tg5 questioning Walter Ricciardi (Friday). Thursday’s opening of the EMA to the vaccination of children between 5 and 11 years, a fundamental step in the coming months, is the subject of particular attention for Tg La7, which on Friday investigates the pros and cons in a weekly report anticipated by Milena Gabanelli. Interestingly, this Tg, which has always been in favour of vaccinations, in this case, shows a particularly cautious, if not doubtful, approach. The arrival of the further variant brings ( on Friday) strong attention to the negative data of the European stock exchanges, while it pushes in the background the reform of the tax, with the Mediaset Tg that follow with greater interest in the services the criticism of trade unions and Confindustria. Attention to the race for the Quirinal (momentarily) drops, with President Mattarella reiterating his unwillingness to consider a second term in office on Monday.


25 November, prime time is in red

This year, the international day against violence against women has attracted considerable interest in prime time: headlines for all, with Tg1 and Tg3 choosing on Thursday to open with images of a staircase covered in red shoes to commemorate the 109 victims of feminicide in 2021. In the Mediaset TV News there was a high level of denunciation of the lack of application of the law on the red code, with several reports that reiterate – even in the face of other recent episodes – the importance of asking for help and reporting.


Assisted suicide, Parliament lagging behind

The recognition by the ethics committee of Ancora’s Als of the right of a tetraplegic citizen to end his own life of suffering – which is in line with the recognition of assisted suicide in our Country – raises enormous interest on Tuesday, with openings for Tg3 and Tg4 (which features Marco Cappato as a guest on the edition). Enrico Mentana also addressed the issue, criticising the inaction of Parliament, which after failing to legislate, despite the request of the Constitutional Court, is preparing to issue a rushed measure in the coming days, with the sole aim of avoiding a referendum.


The Meredith case and Ciro Grillo: room for the chronicle

Despite the atmosphere produced by the pandemic, primetime shows a certain “hunger for news”. This is shown by the attention paid to the release, this Tuesday, of Rudy Guede, convicted in 2007 for the murder of the student Meredith Kercher. In the headlines on Friday, the announcement of the committal for trial of the four boys – including Ciro Grillo, son of the Five Star Movement’s guarantor – accused of having abused a 19-year-old girl in Sardinia in 2019. The passing of Ennio Doris, a great entrepreneur and founder of Banca Mediolanum, was reported by all the TV News, with the condolences of the Mediaset newspapers, which dedicated headlines and comprehensive reports to the messages of condolences from many friends during several days and, in particular, from the Berlusconi family.


Migrants, the opposite sensitivity of News Mediaset

As is often the case at this stage, there is little attention paid to the subject of immigration, with a few reports on Rai and La7 news on the deaths in the English Channel and the tensions between France and the United Kingdom. On Friday, Mediaset also struck a blow, but the headings showed very different attitudes: Studio Aperto dealt with the many open fronts (Polish border, English Channel and Sicily Channel), while Tg4 in the headlines highlighted the numbers of landings, fearing that refugees could contribute to the spread of the new South African variant, and then criticised the publicity stunt of a Tunisian blogger who documented her crossing on social media, accusing her of wanting to “publicise” this route. This reading exposes yet another copy and paste from an article in Il Giornale without in any way taking into account the crisis in Tunisia.

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