Italy | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Private news media are generally free of government control but the May election of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reopened concerns raised when he occupied that post several years earlier. Berlusconi's extensive holdings in television placed potential control of 90 percent of all TV broadcasting in his hands, as well as a significant stake in the publishing business and related power in the field of advertising. Under his government responsibilities are the main state-owned television network and the three main channels of Radio Audizioni Italiane (RAI), all of which provide most of the news available to the public. Their boards of directors are appointed by parliament. Private broadcasters must, by law, provide equal time for opposing candidates if they run political ads. In July, during the globalization summit in Genoa, 16 journalists were injured when police raided buildings housing protesters.