In a move to fight back against the government’s ban on political debate shows in the run up to regional elections, journalists unions FNSI and USIGRAI have decided to ‘do it themselves’.
A special debate event “Raiperunanotte” (RAI for one night) will be held in Bologna on Thursday and shown via internet and satellite channels at their own expense with the help of voluntary donations. The ‘trasmissione-manifestazione’ led by popular TV hosts and journalists such as Michele Santoro (pictured), Marco Travaglio, Giovanni Floris and others is an attempt to show that “information cannot simply be interrupted and the press must be kept free”.
The government ban on politically based talk-shows was passed by the independent authority on broadcasting although has been accused of being politically biased and aimed principally at supposedly ‘left-wing’ shows such as Annozero and Ballarò who regularly host government and opposition members on their shows. Prime Minister Berlusconi is also currently under investigation for alleged pressure on RAI chiefs to ‘get rid of’ Michele Santoro, according to tapped phone calls made by Mr Berlusconi himself.
The temporary ban was upheld as a move to keep par condicio or ‘equal opportunites’ among all parties before the elections on the weekend.