Listening Post
The media in Italy
Berlusconi versus Murdoch and Wael Abbas' guide to the Egyptian blogosphere.
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2009 14:01 GMT

Watch part two

The media battle in Italy between Rupert Murdoch and Silvio Berlusconi that has dominated the newspapers and the airwaves, is now heading to the courts.

Tens of thousands of people protested against the government and the media
on the streets of Rome recently, specifically against prime minister Berlusconi.

Between the channels Berlusconi, the businessman owns and the channels Berlusconi, the prime minister, has power over, six of the seven terrestrial channels in Italy are under his control.

When Berlusconi does not like what newspapers say about him, including much of the coverage regarding his marital troubles, he tends to sue them.

Those demonstrating on the streets of Rome acuse their prime minister of trying to muzzle the media he does not control.

Enter, from stage right, Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation, whose global media holdings make Berlusconi's look minor in comparison.

The monopolistic Murdoch is attempting to break Berlusconi's Italian television monopoly.

Our report will delve into the media landscape of Italy and the clash of these two giant media moguls.

Blogging an Arab

Wael Abbas is a well known active blogger in the Arab world

In an extended interview with one of Egypt's most renowned bloggers, Wael Abbas, we catch up on all the voices making themselves heard, through new technology, on the state of politics and other social issues there.

Egypt has the best developed political blogosphere in the Arab world.

As such, it is a laboratory that tests the limits of freedom of speech in that country and sets the pace for other online political activists in the Middle East.

Abbas is a thorn in the side of the Mubarak government in Cairo and its security forces.

Through his site Misr Digital or Egyptian Awareness, Abbas is a highly influential political blogger. 

He tells the Listening Post more about the Egyptian blogosphere, what has changed in Egypt as a result of bloggers, what has not and why he is not a big fan of Facebook or youtube.

Conservative comedy

Finally for our Internet video of the week: redstateupdate.com is not what it appears to be, on the surface.

It is an American site that is part politics part comedy. They have got an interesting take on the recent debate in the media over whether the anti-Barack Obama movement is – at its core anyway – racist.

This episode of The Listening Post can be seen from Friday, October 9, at the following times GMT: Friday: 1230; Saturday: 1030, 2230; Sunday: 0300, 1930; Monday: 0030; Tuesday: 0630, 1630; Wednesday: 0130, 1430; Thursday: 0330, 2330.

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