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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 25 - 2018, No. 3

Social Pluralism in Public and Private Television Broadcasting

, , pages: 282-297

This paper measures social pluralism in the most popular free-to-air TV groups in Italy (Rai, a state-controlled company, and Mediaset, owned by Berlusconi’s family) between 2008 and 2014. Media social pluralism is the ability of the mass media to describe and take into account the different categories of citizens in a society. The Italian Authority for Telecommunications regularly collects data on the airtime devoted to 22 “social actors” during newscasts. Our findings show that the public TV broadcaster shows a wider internal social pluralism than Mediaset. The data also reveal significant inter-group differences (external pluralism). The degree of internal and external pluralism decreased when Silvio Berlusconi served as Prime Minister.

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