Comparison TV Meloni-Letta, Agcom: “It does not respect a level playing field”

The Authority’s position in view of the Porta a Porta broadcast on 22 September. Calenda: “Now a serious confrontation”

A single TV confrontation between only two leaders – Giorgia Meloni and Enrico Letta – does not respect the level playing field in view of the 2022 political elections on 25 September. This was stated in a note by Agcom in a press release at the end of the meeting of the Authority in the face of various reports received in relation to the announced organization of the Door-to-Door transmission scheduled for 22 September, including that of the President of the Commission of Rai Barachini surveillance. In the program of Bruno Vespa, the confrontation between the leader of the Brothers of Italy and the secretary of the Democratic Party was foreseen.

The programming of a single television confrontation between only two political subjectsas well as the communication activities related to it, does not comply with the principles of equal treatment and impartiality of informationbeing likely to determine, for the subjects participating in the debate, an undue electoral advantage over the others “.

CALENDA – “Well Agcom! We were right to raise the question. Now let’s organize a real and serious confrontation, as we do in all civilized countries”, tweets the leader of Action, Carlo Calenda, who for days has been proposing an open confrontation to 4 leaders and not a ‘couple’.

WITH YOU – “We had said it, the candlelit confrontation in Rai on which Letta and Meloni have agreed does not respect the right of citizens to be properly informed. They are not the only two alternatives for Italy. Democracy and pluralism are a serious thing “, writes on Twitter the president of the 5-star Movement Giuseppe Conte.

PD – “Today’s Agcom Resolution does not prohibit comparisons between two but formats that envisage a single debate and related communications to the public. Agcom recognizes that the current mixed, proportional and majority electoral system does not necessarily provide for a confrontation between the leaders of coalitions and attributes autonomy in the determination of formats to editorial responsibility “. So Antonio Nicita, candidate for the Senate for the Democratic Party and former Agcom commissioner.

“It appears therefore It is possible to have comparisons between two leaders, as well as between several leaders – he explains – provided that this format does not end in a single confrontation, where it is foreseen, by the editorial autonomy of the issuer, a form with the participation of only two subjects and a single connected communication “.

“In conclusion, the possibility of having more opportunities for debate between two or more political leaders appears compatible with the Agcom resolution, in compliance with the level playing field and the conditions provided for by Law 28/2000”, concludes the note.

THE RESOLUTION – The Agcom resolution, which was adopted by majority vote with Commissioner Elisa Giomi voting against, calls the national television and radio broadcasters to strict compliance with the equal treatment of political subjects in in-depth programs concerning the election campaign for the next elections on 25 September.

In order to ensure the application of this principle, the broadcasters, the note reads, “must take into account that the current electoral law provides for a mixed system (majority and proportional) which, on the one hand, for five eighths, provides for the ” assignment of seats in multi-member constituencies on the basis of a proportional criterion based on list scrutiny, on the other hand it allows the same lists to appear (or not) in coalition to compete for the allocation of the remaining three eighths of seats in single-member constituencies based on to a majority system. This law also does not provide for the identification of a coalition leader (whereas it instead requires the lists to indicate the relative political leader), nor does it necessarily postulate that the outcome of the elections is determined by the comparison between two lists or between two coalitions “.

Therefore, Agcom underlines, “the interpretation of the rules on par condicio, as shown by the combined provisions of resolution no. 299/22 / Cons and those of the provision of 2 August 2022 of the Parliamentary Commission for the general and the supervision of radio and television services must necessarily comply with this approach, according to what is expressly provided for by law, and in this sense are the Authority’s precedents relating to the last electoral round “.

Without prejudice to the provisions of the aforementioned resolution of the Authority on the subject of confrontation between political forces (and in particular from Article 7, paragraph 10), the Authority underlines, “the programming of a single televised confrontation between only two political subjects , as well as the communication activities related to it, is not compliant with the principles of equal treatment and impartiality of information, since it is likely to determine, for the subjects participating in the discussion, an undue electoral advantage over the others. the legislative and regulatory framework referred to above, furthermore, the definition of the modalities of possible comparisons between politicians cannot be left to the politicians themselves, as this definition falls within the editorial responsibility of the directors responsible for the programs “.

The Authority, it continues, “has therefore decided, in view of the second phase of the electoral campaign and in order to provide information to all interested parties, to address a reference to all national television and radio broadcasters so that, within the in-depth information programs in which political confrontations are envisaged, they ensure, in compliance with their editorial autonomy, to ensure rigorous and effective compliance with the conditions of equal treatment, in order to guarantee the electorate a complete representation and impartial of the various political proposals in view of the vote “.

“The Authority, respecting the editorial autonomy of the individual broadcasters, will supervise television and radio programming, according to its own prerogatives, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the principles of equal treatment and correct information”, underlines the ‘Agcom.