A pluralistic media system is a cornerstone of democracy. It enables the debate between competing opinions and views and it favours the exposition of the different social and political actors animating modern societies. Since its birth, the Osservatorio is engaged in the measurement of pluralism in the media, through a series of research projects on social and political diversity in content carried out at local, national and international level.
In partnership with the University of Pavia, the Osservatorio has developed a quantitative methodology for the observation and the analysis of political communication in the mass media. This methodological effort has led to a long-term co-operation with Rai – the Italian public service broadcasting – for which the Osservatorio di Pavia has been carrying out media monitoring activities since 1994. The data produced by the Osservatorio di Pavia are utilised by the Parliamentary Commission on RAI.
Monitoring of election campaigns and referendums on RAI networks
The monitoring activity of political pluralism began in 1994, during the election campaign for the general elections. The Osservatorio di Pavia has been monitoring the political pluralism of the RAI networks 24 hours a day since 1995. Since 1999, the Osservatorio di Pavia has been monitoring the agenda setting of the daily and prime-time news programmes. The monitoring activity of political pluralism is carried out for RAI, which transmits the data to the Parliamentary Commission for the general direction and supervision of radio and television services.
Monitoring of local broadcasting
The Osservatorio di Pavia carries out, on behalf of the Co.re.Com., the monitoring of local television broadcasting within the Agcom delegation activity. The delegation activity covers four areas: political and social pluralism; user guarantees and protection of minors; programming obligations; and legislation with regard to the transmission of advertising messages.
Monitoring of the pluralism of themes, subjects and narration, and of social cohesion in the Rai broadcasting
In 2019 CARES-Osservatorio di Pavia carried out, for the second consecutive year, the monitoring of the pluralism of themes, subjects and narration, and the monitoring of social cohesion in Rai programming in compliance with the provisions of the 2018-2022 Service Contract which reports the general principles which must regulate the offer of public service.
To identify the contribution of the Rai television offer to respecting social pluralism, a monitoring was carried out aimed at detecting, describing and evaluating: the plurality of topics covered and the valorisation of local realities; the adherence to reality in the representation of the country, from a social, gender, generational, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation point of view, and the attention paid to disabilities; the quality of information and compliance with the main ethical obligations.
To identify the contribution of Rai’s television offer to social cohesion, a monitoring was carried out aimed at detecting respect for the dignity of the person and the degree of social inclusion/diversity.
The monitoring, with the consequent qualitative-quantitative content analysis, involved 1,100 Rai 1, Rai 2 and Rai 3 programs, broadcast in 2019 from 06:00 to 02:00 and selected on the basis of representation criteria of the different TV genres, audience and thematic relevance.
Reviews and monitoring for the European Union
From 2006 to 2010, the Osservatorio di Pavia produced a daily audio-video review (9 television and 12 radio stations) for the Representation of the European Commission in Italy. From 2008 to 2010, the Osservatorio di Pavia produced a daily audio-video review (9 television and 12 radio stations) for the Italian Office of the European Parliament.