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Media Club e Forum di Infocivica

The European Commission - Representation in Italy

EU integration in the cross-media Public Service perspective

An initiative of Infocivica and the european Workgroup of Turin
for the European Conference on



5. Timetable of preparatory seminars

5.1 Preliminary meeting in Turin in September 2009: Is building an European public service television possible?


In the conference hall of the Museum of Radio and Television at the headquarters of the RAI in Turin, Via Verdi, on 24th September 2009 during the 61st edition of the Prix Italia a Conference was organized by Infocivica , in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Italy, entitled Is building_a_European_public_service_television_possible?_After_the_Lisbon_Treaty: problems and prospects.

Broadcast live in video-streaming on the website of the Prix Italia and Infocivica, thanks to the indispensable collaboration of the RAI Production Centre of Turin and of Rainet, the meeting saw the participation of prestigious persons of international importance engaging in serious and extensive deliberations on the public service, particularly on its future in Europe within civil society.

The subjects addressed by the speakers included:

• Does it make sense or not to speak of a public service of a European dimension?

• What would the implications be for current national public services as regards technology, the offer, resources and the rules of governance, of realizing such a European public service and what would failure to realise it entail?

• In consideration of the joint ventures that are set up between managers and private operators in the field of electronic communications at a distance, what strategic importance would an alliance between the major public broadcasters of the old continent have?

• In the new scenario of global communications is it right to maintain the mixed public-private system that has historically characterized the old Continent at a national level, unlike the American model?

Moderated by Giampiero Gramaglia (ANSA) and in the presence of the Vice President of Infocivica Gerardo Mombelli (former director of the European Commission Representation in Italy ) and that of the Secretary General of the Prix Italia Giovanna Milella , the following experts intervened:

• Giuseppe Richeri, Lecturer on “Media Strategies” and Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the Università della Svizzera Italiana University of Lugano;

• Uwe Hasebrink, President of the Board of Directors Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medien Forschung of the University of Hamburg;

• Pierre Musso, Professor of Communication Sciences at the University of Rennes;

• Enrique Bustamante Ramirez, Professor of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at the Complutense University of Madrid, Member of the Council for the reform of state-owned media in Spain;

• Francisco Rui Càdima, Coordinator of the Department of Communication Sciences, New University of Lisbon;

• Beata Klimkiewicz, Professor at the Institute of Journalism and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University of Krakow;

• Philip Schlesinger, President of the "Advisory Committee for Scotland" - OFCOM Scotland, Professor in "Cultural Policy" and Academic Director at the Centre for Cultural Policy Research of Glasgow University.

The Secretary General of the EBU, Jean Reveillon, and the director of the European editorial department of Radio France, Quentin Dickinson, then spoke.

There was then a debate introduced by Enrico Menduni, professor of culture and television and radio formats at the Roma Tre University of Rome, which also saw the participation of Enrico Grazzini, an Economics of Communications analyst, professor Andrea Melodia , vice president of Infocivica and professor at the LUMSA University of Rome and Bruno Somalvico, the secretary general of Infocivica.

This was followed by the replies of the rapporteurs and the conclusions entrusted to the chairman Giampiero Gramaglia.

The speakers had a wide range of different points of view, but all of them expressed the urgent need to restore and strengthen the values of quality, diversity and pluralism within public service media that operate primarily at a national level. Upon these preconditions alone can one then talk about the sharing of content in Europe.

As Professor Cadima pointed out, the public service must "serve the interest of citizens and not that of consumers". But one must not forget that today it is more than ever necessary for there to be safeguards and guarantees for democratic information as well as for its reliability in the dangerous muddle and disarray of the web as regards the totally uncontrolled world of news and information .

Among the other topics dealt with, there was much concern regarding the issue of the abolition of advertising in France and Spain on public television. This is a complex debate that forcefully introduces issues connected with the independence of the public service from political and economic powers. Almost none of the speakers saw a single pan-European public television as a concrete possibility but, based on these assumptions and requirements, there were numerous proposals for European content-sharing formulas.

An International Conference will be held in 2011, on the 150th anniversary of the Italian state, to energetically discuss the role played by the public service in Italy, and a European Conference is planned in 2012 to propose a new definition of the mission, offer, financing and rules of public service media within the society of information and knowledge.

A comprehensive summary of the preliminary seminar was broadcast on Rai GR Parlamento (the radio service devoted to delivering Italian parliamentary proceedings) .

Link to the programme