Berlusconi’s media empire shows surprise support for Berlusconi

[Edition 53] ROME, Thursday: Italian Prime Minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi said he was surprised at the support his government keeps receiving in the media. He said he was especially surprised that his own three commercial TV stations supported his controversial media ownership policies.

Berlusconi faces the tough set of questions he wrote for the media that morning

[Edition 53] ROME, Thursday: Prime Minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi has told reporters he is pleased at the support his government has received in Italy’s media. Mr Berlusconi, said he was “especially pleased” that his own three commercial TV stations came out in favour of his new media policies claiming “it really could have gone either way”.

While Italy’s eleven parliamentary Oppositions expressed concern about Berlusconi’s proposal to remove all restrictions on the concentration of media control, the bill was also reported favourably in official Italian state media. The Italian public broadcaster had been critical of Mr Berlusconi in the past, but has been much more supportive since he returned to power.

Commentators outside Italy have suggested that the change is linked to the Prime Minister’s power to appoint state television’s board of governors. But Mr Berlusconi has rejected these allegations during a one-sided puff piece on Italian Story.

Mr Berlusconi defended his selections for the board and its controversial new chairman, Australian Jonathon Shier. “He had an excellent resume” said Berlusconi. “The suggestion that I chose him because he’s a right wing toady is very unseemly, and certainly not the sort of question I’d expect from a career-minded journalist”.

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