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How to explain a foreign audience why, as usual, the Italian situation is tragic but it’s not serious

In less than an hour, I will be speaking in Vienna, at the World Editors Forum. They asked me to tell a story about how newspapers should improve, particularly on paper. All right. That’s the trap. How can I get out of it? The Italian situation, as usual, is tragic but it is not serious. It is not serious because we seem unable to have any serious debate at the political level about ourselves, the way we manage our public finances, the way we organize. And because we have a weird kind of government. It is tragic also because the problem is not only in the political class. Italians that are...

english (sort of) visioni

The case for an Italian rebellion. Why it doesn’t happen. And what could happen

The case for an Italian rebellion is not insane. I had the chance to speak with many foreign observers, recently, and I found that an Italian rebellion is considered a real option. (I will not quote their names, but if they want they can comment here). An Italian rebellion? Other Mediterranean countries have done just so, lately. Tunisia and Egypt, for example, have chosen to rebel against their dictators and the world has appreciated. Considering the Italian political situation as a sort of authoritarian regime and thinking that it is not reformable through the normal democratic process, one...

Attenzione media english (sort of) informazione media partecipazione visioni

Italian media at Mit MediaLab

It was great to meet such an incredible group of researchers who are working in one of the myth of media studies, lead by a myth of cosmopolitan, civic, active media like Ethan Zuckerman. My contribution, it seems, has helped them to open their views in a weird way: they needed, it seems, to get over the cutting edge problems that they face in their day to day life, and to go back to where part of the rest of the world is, or where at least Italy is: somewhere in the past. Why should such a contribution be in any way interesting? History is done by leading, innovative contexts, such as the...

english (sort of) media visioni

Experience Cambridge. A day from Harvard to Mit

Well, thanks to a lucky day, I spent the day between Harvard and the MediaLab. I will report about what happened. But I must say one thing right now: it is an experience of quality. The general idea that I had the feeling is that there is a network full of ideas in which every single person works on her meaning as an individual contributor to the ecosystem. The cure to living the present times is made by a set of practices: 1. telling stories and showing their meaning by linking them to the rest of the world (cosmopolitan identity, as in Ethan Zuckerman’s next book)2. thinking projects and...

english (sort of) media partecipazione

Mit-MediaLab: Citizen and professional media in Italy

Ethan Zuckerman, head of the Mit Center for Civic Media, invited me to share some experiences about civic media and professional media in Italy. Here are some notes. Just notes. I must confess that I was really flattered but I was also quite worried, because I didn’t think that Italy could be such an interesting subject at the MediaLab… How did I sort out of that? With a set of questions in two steps: First step – I sort of forced myself to think what I could say after a title like the following: Why the Italian civic media landscape matters to you? I mean: why the Italian civic...

english (sort of) perplessità

AGCOM anti-piracy enforcement measures: worries prevail while Italians debate about free internet

Italy is again at a crossroads about freedom and quality of its media. On July 6, Italy’s telecommunication regulator, AGCOM, will decide how long will let the public debate about the new enforcement tools to fight copyright infringement the Agency is introducing. The law, introduced by the present government, generally requires AGCOM to adopt anti-piracy tools, but the AGCOM proposal gives the Authority itself the power to remove content from Italian websites or to block access to foreign websites accused by copyright holders to break their rights. There will be no need to go through a...

english (sort of)

Embarrassing questions about Italy

Sometimes you have to answer such a simple question like “where are you from?”. You can work around difficult problems, but you cannot do the same with simple ones. “Where are you from?” Even on my own blog, I would like to skip the question. Because, if you are an Italian, you live in a state of constant embarrassment. That is, of course, linked to articles that flood the international press (everybody knows some of them here at DLD, Munich): Surreal…, New York Times, The Mussolini…, GQ, The Caligulan court…, Telegraph, La fiesta…, El Pais, Les...

english (sort of) partecipazione persone


“I’m afraid that it doesn’t come in that, ahm…, manifestation”. Al Red Cat, un ristorante sulla 10a Avenue, Manhattan, un cliente ha chiesto un piatto di carne bovina con un’insalata. Ma la combinazione non era prevista dal menu. Il cameriere molto empatico ha risposto alla richiesta: “Temo che la carne bovina non possa essere, ahm…, manifestata in quella forma”.
Il cameriere è uno studente di Lettere, si è poi scoperto.

english (sort of) media

Diesel’s “be stupid” campaign

Smart is stupid. But stupid is not necessarily smart. Diesel’s “be stupid” campaign is evolving. It was about the difference between “brains” and “balls”, which was not at all new (just like the less than shocking difference between “head” and “heart”). Now it is about a much more interesting difference between the “plans” of the smart and the “stories” of the stupid. And it is going towards a more subtile: “smart may have the answers, but stupid has all the interesting questions”. Racked sort of...

english (sort of)

Italian bloggers’ strike

Tomorrow, July 14th, some Italian bloggers will not write. They will protest against the Italian government that is issuing a series of new laws that could limit the freedom of expression online in Italy. There is a ning dedicated to the people that will protest: Diritto alla Rete. Freedom of expression has never been strong in Italy. Our political culture and our political system are hardly those that you should find in a mature democracy. Catholic and communist parties have dominated most of the republican history, in Italy, while fascist parties have never really disappeared. Political...

Luca De Biase

Knowledge and happiness economy Media and information ecology