Rai Jekill and Rai Hyde. An analysis of the Italian public television contradictions (2002)

Rai (Italian Public Television) is currently living a schizophrenic split. It does not know who it is: is it a public service or a business, does it aim to inform and educate people or stimulate morbidity and the worst drifts of taste? This reflection emerges from the Eurispes analysis of the contradictions surrounding Italian public television. RAI has for many years been the subject of complaints about the allotment, poor programmes, financial losses, and the difficulty of dealing with competition, but the heart of the problem is another. The first big dilemma is: should Rai produce quality television or win the battle of the Auditel ratings? Two irreconcilable objectives, and as long as you go on asking Rai for both, you get the worst of it. When one believes that television should offer valuable programming, one must think about a kind of tv that does not achieve the highest possible ratings.

The research examines the problems inherent in the privatisation of the company, the analysis of the 2001 budget, the comparison with the Mediaset budget, the audience and programming results.


Chapter 1. The current situation

The 2001 budget
Audience results
Rai’s TV Schedule
Between Public Service and Commercial TV: the Challenge of Quality

Chapter 2. Critical Reflections

Rai Jekyll and Rai Hyde
Good television or good ratings?
The fight to be the worst
The Official Gazette versus Novella Duemila
Public or private?
Politicised Rai or managed Rai?

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Summary Document

Public service or enterprise? Rai between privatisation and the quality of broadcasting

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