The shadow of the third wave turns newspapers to the “hard line”. Tg Eurispes – CoRiS Sapienza Observatory Report

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Analysis of the news from 22 to 26 February – After the Draghi government’s inauguration, the epidemic is once again the dominant theme in all editions (21 openings). Documenting the increase in contagions produced by the spread of variants through the intervention of various experts who fear the arrival of the “third wave”, the information quickly archives the confrontation of the beginning of the week between open-minded (Salvini) and cautious (Zingaretti), making the need for further closures its own. Even Tg4 – which on Wednesday had given free rein to the positions of the leader of the League hosted in the studio – acknowledged, in the following evenings, the need for more controls, at the same time criticising the CTS with two headlines dedicated to the repeated absence of some of its members from meetings. Great prominence on Thursday to the statements of Prime Minister Draghi at the European Council (in the opening for the RAI news, Studio Aperto and La7) for the launch of actions that allow to produce vaccines directly in Italy and in other EU countries.

Returning to Italy, the headlines focused on the statements of the new Minister of Economy, Daniele Franco, and those of the reappointed Speranza and Franceschini, with the latter suggesting the reopening of cinemas and theatres by the end of March. The 5 Star rift, but also the signs of further splits in the Democratic Party, are very present on Tg5 and the subject of more openings for Tg4. Attention for all to the political fate of ex-Premier Conte, indicated by Grillo as the new leader of the Movement (opening Friday for Tg4, headlines for Tg1, Tg5 and Tg La7).

The ambush in Congo – which led to the death of the Ambassador, Luca Attanasio, and the carabiniere Antonio Iacovacci – has a strong echo in the lineup, claiming all the openings on Monday and numerous headlines during the week, until the funeral on Thursday. The RAI news programmes are most committed to shedding light on the situation in the African country, and to illustrating the social and assistance initiatives promoted by the NGO supported by the Ambassador. Biden’s first moves on the Middle East front (4 headlines between Thursday and Friday) were also covered in the foreign pages: the air raid in Syria and the pressure on Saudi Arabia were the focus of public attention, with the diffusion of an intelligence report clearly identifying Prince bin Salmān Āl Saʿūd as the person behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

As the number of contagions has risen, the amount of space devoted to news stories has been reduced. However, this is not the case for the latest female murders, reported with concern by all the newspapers. Mentana’s analysis on Tuesday was very harsh, reflecting on the “dramatic paradigm” that led Clara Ceccarelli – a 69-year-old shopkeeper killed by her ex-partner on Friday 19 – to pay for her own funeral in advance.

This content is also available in: Italian

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