In the wake of the European debt crisis, structural reforms and austerity measures across the continent have not spared public broadcasters.

There is such an utter lack of connection between the people and the state.

Milena Gabanelli, Investigative journalist, RAI

Broadcasters were affected by spending cuts in Greece, France, Spain and the UK, but in Italy, the reform of the public broadcaster RAI is not just about money, it is first and foremost about political power.

With almost 2,000 journalists, 11 newsrooms, sister channels that compete against one another, when co-operating would save money, no one in Italy would argue RAI is perfect and does not need some kind of reform.

A bill that would modernise the network's structure and spending has has been put before parliament.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says he wants to free RAI from the interference of the political parties that have controlled the public broadcaster for decades.

But the opposition is beyond skeptical and sees a government mouthpiece in the making.

The Listening Post's Paolo Ganino reports from Rome on the broadcaster Italians call 'Mamma Rai' and the plans to reform it.

Source: Al Jazeera