INFOCIVICA ritorna alla home “Infocivica vuole  facilitare il rapporto tra i cittadini, le istituzioni e gli organismi pubblici favorendo l'ideazione e la realizzazione di programmi di servizio pubblico e 
di servizi di pubblica utilità nella società dell'informazione.“
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Media Club e Forum di Infocivica
Regno Unito -
Matthew Hibberd
Germania -
Roberto Suarez Candel
Polonia -
Beata Klimkiewicz
Bruno Somalvico

INFOCIVICA - EUROPEAN IDENTITY AND DIVERSITY - Study workshop n. 1. Social change, public service demand and mission in the society of information and knowledge.
Turin Prix Italia – 21st september 2010


Real-time summary:

Before the replies to the preceding speeches and contributions, there was an intervention of Italo Moscati, who had recently presented his documentary Italian Concerto at the Prix Italia . He suggested that reconstructing the country's history and the way of “doing TV” in Italy over the years through an analysis of the public television archives could be very useful.

At this point Emilio D'Orazio, the director of Politeia, intervened. Referring to professor Michele Sorice's speech, he asked, in a philosophical context, whether discussing a theme as important as the mission of the public service might also involve searching for answers to some more radical questions that are at the root of the discourse and which belong to realm of the political philosophy . This is the case especially since all of the speakers mentioned the concept of value in their interventions . The notion of value should therefore perhaps be developed more deeply and established as the basis for all the work to be performed by the European Group of Turin. Emilio D'Orazio also noted the emphasis that all the participants gave to the Stakeholders. His conclusion was that in effect in this panorama the public and private dimensions often tend to overlap.

The representatives of the European Group of Turin made the following replies and considerations based on the preceding speeches :

Enrique Bustamante Ramirez - He saw a common thread uniting all the countries whose representatives intervened. The problem of quality of contents, as well as technological problems, are common. He invited those present to be critical of European Commission directives, e specially those that are derived from private lobbies and that are relentlessly attacking the public service, burdening it with rules and suffocating limitations. We must be ready to respond to the demands and requests of the citizens of the European community.

Francisco Rui Càdima - He said that it is interesting for us to have all of the members of the European Group of Turin working together as a network with regular contact via Internet, and that each member should regularly send information and studies regarding what is happening in every country, as regards decrees, rules and regulations, etc. as well as small reports summariz ing the present situation. To this end, he proposed that we should open a forum on the Infocivica website which would be a genuine observatory of European public television.

Matthew Hibberd - He made two short comments. Firstly, referring to the reference to “S ocial change” in the title of the seminar, he considered it vital to understand the social context, since in order t o remodel any public service media it is crucial to understand how society changes and how it reshapes itself. Secondly he pointed out that the great possibility of interaction is a form of democratization, which we are inevitably experiencing.

Beata Klimkiewicz, in order to answer the question about what the mission of cross-media services will be, we must consider the values of public services by reconsidering them in the light of what is happening in the technological and social sectors, namely the aspects of social fragmentation and technological developments. We should also ask ourselves whether the technological changes and the new economic challenges truly have altered access to new media, as they seem to have done. It would probably be worthwhile to take some other perspectives regarding non-European countries into consideration.

Pierre Musso: we have been experiencing a deregulation for thirty years now, and we therefore need to think of a radical new regulatory intervention for the public service mission. We have lost the sense, also because over thirty years the situation has changed radically. Television has not disappeared. We must think not in terms of the replacement of media, but of evolution. Europe should produce intellectually valid and strong programmes. Then there is the issue of non-discriminatory access and the training and preparation of users.

Giuseppe Richeri
- If we wish to produce innovative results we must strive to go beyond the idea of public television that has dominated the field so far. Not in a pedagogical or educational sense, which I consider an outdated concept. It is also risky to think that the influence that public broadcasting has had so far in the Net is sufficient or necessary, since this is a totally different context. The context of economics offers us a concept that is more useful for us, that of market failure: public intervention is thus relevant where the market fails. In fact we are now faced with a situation like this because the private media are unable to provide contents of public interest. We must enter into a different logic by trying to form a public service that provides contents of collective interest that the private sector is unable to provide. This would therefore not be a public service that creates a programming schedule with the logic of the private media. For this reason advertising must not be such a crucial determining factor in public television.

Roberto Suarez Candel - The values that motivate the decisions and choices of each country are the reason for the differences and diversities between our countries. The question is to what extent we should contribute to this debate or intervene to modify it. Another problem is simply that we are not being heard. So why do we not speak directly to the broadcasters or to the public. We need to change the relationship between the public service and the public themselves.

Michele Sorice - For some years now we have submitted assets and commodities that we did not think could be subject to negotiation or trade to the unbridled rules of the market, such as the water supply. The consequent transformation s have affected a great many sectors. Communication within the public spaces of the media-based societies is an essential commodity, hence the centrality of the public service such as access to the forms of communication. What makes everything so complex and complicated is that upstream there is the debate on our society and the society of the future after the collapse of the communist and liberalist systems.

Philip Schlesinger - When one thinks about the future of public telecommunications services it is true that everyone is involved, but very few have the opportunity to intervene. This is because the participation of individuals in the construction of the new media has become increasingly complex. In an attempt to change the nature of the debate at a European level we must be aware of the difficulties we face in having a real and operationally effective influence. While we must be realistic and aware of this, there is however a possibility for us to do something new. Everyone agrees that communication should be a democratic factor, going beyond the differences between individual countries. Faced with an increasingly complicated situation, we have brought together the pieces of the puzzle, but we still have not reached the full picture. There is a general trend towards the creation of oligopolies in the field of communications.


Continuation of the real-time summary