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Information on TV

What has changed in the midst of a global pandemic?

By Gianfranco Gatta

There is no doubt that the pandemic has affected television programming. The audience has disappeared from the TV studios and if that can be good for political Talk Shows, especially from an economic point of view, it is certainly bad for entertainment and for performing artists. We will see at the Sanremo Festival, live show, how this absence will influence the empathy of the audience at home.

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Un post condiviso da Sanremo Rai (@sanremorai)

With the productions of Fiction, in fact, halved by about fifty percent and the broadcasts lengthened by months, see Big Brother, to be the owner of the information with his Talk Shows. The historical evening appointments are accompanied, more and more pressing, those of Day Time: morning and afternoon, to be clear.

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Un post condiviso da Grande Fratello (@grandefratellotv)

“Agorà” (Rai Tre) with Luisella Costamagna, Omnibus” (La7) with multiple conduction but that is recognized in the face of Alessandra Sardoni, former president of the parliamentary chroniclers,“L’Aria che Tira”(La7) with Myrta Merlino, “Tagadà” (La7) with Tiziana Panella. To finish with the cribs of Stasera Italia” (Rete4) with Barbara Palombelli and “Otto e Mezzo” (La7) with Lilli Gruber.

These are growing public and share programmes, with different facets and patterns of conduct. Thanks to the information programs that La7, news these days, increases its share of 5% and 15% of spectators, placing it as the sixth goal in Italy, ahead of Retequattro.

Personally I think both “Coffè Break” (La7), with Andrea Pancani, on air between nine and forty and eleven, and “Tagadà”, on air from fourteen to seventeen, two programs quite useless. The first is compressed by the two battleships, “Omnibus”and “L’Aria che Tira”, cannibalizing the same themes, the same guests and forced to five advertising breaks plus the weather.

Each question requires a short reply as a tweet, embarrassing. The second one finds himself repeating the same news of the morning, with the addition of the news. Now, I speak from experience, when a television show starts to have problems with ratings, the only lifeline is to insert dogs and children. It always works.

The pandemic has given “Tagadà” a new lifeline: inviting virologists to interact with the public at home. It seems that it works; on the other hand, paraphrasing the Neapolitan saying, virologists today are “like a mille lire”, they are not denied to anyone.

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Un post condiviso da Tagada La7 (@tagadala7)

The three TV news ladies remain: Myrta Merlino, Lilli Gruber and Barbara Palombelli.

Merlino, of good economic preparation, has made politics its North Star. She has the merit of being a lady in manners and of being an intellectually honest person. It has the defect that, for bulimic passion, does not listen to the guests interrupting the answers with subsequent questions. In common with everyone and I say all his colleagues, presenters and television journalists, he is convinced to feel the protagonist and not witness to what he is telling. Television as a bubble and not as a window on the world.

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Un post condiviso da Myrta Merlino (@myrtamerlino)

Lilli Gruber is a phenomenon by herself. There are those who remember the war envoy, wrapped in flamboyant scarves, narrating the conflicts from the terrace of the hotel, in the middle of the night, illuminated by a distant horizon jagged by the lights of the explosions. It lacked a cocktail martini with two olives and would have been a perfect advertisement.

She considers her opponent to be an enemy to be treated with arrogance and continuous aggressions, making the interview often a sickly duel. Meloni and Salvini are her favorite victims but it is with the Boschi that she reaches vertices of perfidy.

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Un post condiviso da maki galimberti (@makigalimberti)

Barbara Palombelli is the most successful bet since Retequattro turned to information. She appears as the female version of the “Roman son-in-law” but is a long-time reporter who knows everyone by trade and lineage. In Rome everyone knows each other, especially in the great bourgeoisie. She conducts a sober, pluralist program, in which reasoning finds space in polite times and manners. It is not a little!

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Un post condiviso da Barbara Palombelli (@barbarapalombelli_official)

Ferruccio De Bortoli, former editor of “Corriere della Sera”, in his latest book states: “We had the worst political class and patched up at the most difficult time in the history of our country”. It refers to the current parliament, of course.

But not even information is doing better today. Almost all newspapers seem to have become party organs. Investigations have disappeared, insights have disappeared. Facts disappear and opinions remain.

There are only political controversies and crime stories. On the websites of the various publications there are news of gossip about those who would “die to be famous” (by Dagospia).

In the various television programs journalists are invited, mistaking them for opinion-formers in a total self-referentiality.

And it’s an adverb anthology!



Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash