Page 1

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Fabrizio De Rosa Student no.: 10239839 Master’s Thesis Graduate School of Communication Master’s Programme Communication Science Supervisor: Dr. Richard van der Wurff 29.06.2012


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 2! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Abstract Over the last 20 years a shift in the presentation of politics in the media took place: public and media constantly focused more on individual politicians and less on ideologies, parties and institutions. In this era leaders are keen to use the personal in order to get strategic publicity through the process of mediatisation. Observers claim that Berlusconi represents a spectacular case of personalization in the European scenario (Campus 2010, Campus 2006, van Aelst et.al 2012). The former Italian Prime Minister encounters exceptional media exposure in the Italian media landscape. Besides mainstream outlets, Berlusconi mediated image is also delivered by sportive media, since he is the owner of the successful football club Ac Milan. Sportive media is particularly relevant in Italy: the leading sportive daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport, is the most red newspaper in Italy with 4.420.000 readers per day (Audipress, 2011). In the existing literature it has been argued that Ac Milan is “the front line of Berlusconi's strategy of image projection” (Poli, 1998), the cornerstone of Berlusconi’s “allegory of success” (Porro & Russo, 2000). According to some observers Berlusconi applied these political marketing strategies in the two years preceding his political debacle in November 2011. The overall aim of the study was to investigate if Ac Milan has been a means of Berlusconi media personalization. It was run a comparative and longitudinal quantitative analysis of Berlusconi’s mediated image on sportive media ( Gazzetta dello Sport) and mainstream media (Corriere della Sera). The research suggests that Berlusconi’s high-level visibility, personalization and constant positive evaluations on the most popular printed media granted him the possibility to boost his popularity and to promote his image through sportive media. Keywords: Mediatization, personalization of politics and media, political marketing, Berlusconi, football, Ac Milan

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 3! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

Introduction “I solemnly swear that Ac Milan will not buy Marek Hamsik” Silvio Berlusconi, 28 May 2011, Napoli On the eve of Napoli city council final ballot Silvio Berlusconi choose to support his party candidate, Gianni Lettieri, by announcing that Ac Milan will not buy SSC Napoli’s football star Marek Hamsik rather than discussing solutions regarding the debated city waste scandal ( Turano, 2012). Since Berlusconi entered Italian politics in 1994, some commentators observed that he constantly made use of a new semantic language, “calcese” (trasl. footballese) (Fiori, 1995: 135) to build an emotional link amongst him, followers and potential supporters (Croci, 2001; Porro & Russo, 2000). Berlusconi acquired Ac Milan in 1986, 8 years before he decided to enter politics, or in his words to “scendere in campo”1, and to found his first party Forza Italia, named after the popular cheering cry sang by the Italians during Italy’s national team football games. Over the last 20 years a shift in the presentation of politics in the media took place: public and media constantly focused more on individual politicians and less on ideologies, parties and institutions (Rahat & Sheafer, 2007). In this era leaders are keen to use the personal in order to get strategic publicity through the process of mediatisation (Langer, 2010). Silvio Berlusconi is said to represent, together with former French Prime Minister Sarkozy, “the most spectacular example of advanced personalization” (Campus, 2010; Campus, 2006; van Aelst et.al 2012). Through the years, Ac Milan has been “the front line of Berlusconi's strategy of image projection” (Poli, 1998: 274) and the cornerstone his personal “allegory of success” (Porro & Russo, 2000), promoted first in the business world and then in the political arena. The relationship between Ac Milan and Silvio Berlusconi is very relevant in Italy because the Italian public sphere pays massive attention to

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1

!Trasl. “To take the field”. “This metaphor comes from military language. In contemporary Italy, however, it is used primarily in football language, of a player who has been sitting on the bench and is sent onto the field at a delicate point !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 4! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

football. In fact, the most red newspaper is a sportive one: La Gazzetta dello Sport with 4.420.000 readers in 2011 (Audipress, 2011). Berlusconi hybrid relationship with football and politics has been commented mostly in literature overviews and qualitative studies. Nonetheless, analysis of sportive media coverage, with a focus on the former Prime Minister, has been barely taken in consideration. This article is rooted on the existing literature assumption that Berlusconi used Ac Milan as tool of political marketing and image building in order to support his political carrier (Turano, 2012; Campus, 2010; Porro & Russo, 2000; Croci 2001; Fiori, 1995). However, political marketing Berlusconi’s strategies are not the subject of this investigation. In fact, it is here examined the outcome of these strategies in terms of media coverage. The aim of the research is to clarify if Ac Milan has been a means of Berlusconi’s media personalization. In this light, it will be investigated to what extent Berlusconi enjoys visibility on sportive media coverage in comparison with his political and sportive counterparts. In addition, sportive and media coverage will be compared in order to track the level of Berlusconi personalization on sportive outlets. Furthermore, three hypotheses will test the outcome of Berlusconi’s political marketing strategies on sportive and mainstream media coverage. In other words, it will be tested if negative correlations amongst Berlusconi’s rating approval, Berlusconi’s personalization level and tone of reporting in the sportive media coverage are taking place. Finally, mainstream and sportive media tones of coverage will be compared in order to examine a possible correlation. This research is the first one to focus Berlusconi’s mediated image throughout a quantitative and longitudinal analysis (2010-2011) of Berlusconi driven sportive and mainstream coverage. The article will follow this structure. Firstly, it will be clarified what exactly the phenomenon of personalization is and which are the consequences for Western modern democracies. Secondly, Berlusconi’s “spectacular personalization” (Campus, 2010) will be examined as a relevant example !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 5! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

of politics personalization in the European scenario. At the same time, observations of relevant scholars and journalists regarding the role of Ac Milan in Berlusconi’s political discourse will be summarized. Finally, by investigating the last two years of sportive and mainstream coverage (2010-2011), a media quantitative analysis will clarify if Berlusconi Ac Milan ownership has been a means of media personalization. Theoretical background Blumer and Kavanagh (1999) theorized three ages of political communication, where national media outlets are to be consider main players in shaping the political public discourse. From age 1 to age 3, the increasing erosion of institutional and party consensus, the rise of TV and the proliferation of commercial broadcasting, changed the rules of the political arena and its own nature: from face-to-face communication to a mediated one. This process is called mediatization of politics2. One of the main effects of mediatization is that political logic3, which had been ruling the political discourse, amongst political actors and citizen, has been increasingly challenged by media logic4 throughout the last two decades. Media logic tends to highlight in the political debate the attributes of proximity, conflict, drama and personalization (Mazzoleni and Schulz, 1999). The very same drivers that shaped the third age of political communication, as for instance the falling levels of voters’ interest in political ideals and traditional citizens’ party membership, legitimized !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!

2

!According to Stromback (2008), as dynamic process, the degree of mediatization can vary from country to country across time throughout four phases. However the process is not always linear or unidirectional across the four dimensions. In reality, some argue that mediation of politics is an old phenomenon: since the 19th century newspapers were means of democratization and constituted already one of the main hosts for the public!discourse (Stromback, 2008). However, mediated politics refers solely “to whether or not the media constitute the most important channels for information exchange communication between the people and political actors” (2008: 231). In other words, it is to be considered a static and rather descriptive conceptualization. On the other hand, the term mediatiatization is perceived as dynamic, defined by many scholars as a process that “denotes problematic concomitants or consequences of the development of modern mass media” (Mazzoleni and Schulz, 1999:249). In the third age of political communication, some scholars argue that mediatization may subordinate the political system to the media system, leading to “media driven republics” or, as Mazzoleni and Schulz claim, to “ innocuous forms of mediatized democracy” ( ivi.). 3 “Political logic consists of both a policy dimensions “the effort to find solutions for politically defined problems by means of programs for action” – and a process dimension – “the effort to gain official acceptance of one’s chosen program of action”( Stromback, 2008: 233). In both these dimension, politicians are the primary actors. 4 “The frame of reference within which the media construct the meaning the media construct the meaning of events and personaliies they report” (Mazzoleni and Schulz, 1999) !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 6! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

journalists to report more extensively about leaders and their personalities rather than on parties, organizations and institutions (Langer, 2007; van Aelst 2012). In addition, a substantial economic crisis in the media industry is leading, together with broad commercialization, to deliver more superficial and gossip-driven reporting, even about political issues (McChensey, 2004). In this setting, journalists find hard to produce full picture of the world of politics and therefore tend to deliver just the aspects that can be translated in good media products (Campus, 2010). Leader’s focused reporting meets these requirements by either humanizing politicians and turning them into celebrities (Holtz-Bacha, 2004). These factors concurred in creating the conditions of the rise of media personalization. This phenomenon is “widely understood as a systematic focusing of the mass media and the public on individual top candidates and incumbents” (Helms, 2012: 6). During the last two decades politicians started to take in account these standard of newsworthiness in their political communication strategies (Stromback, 2008). Throughout the Stromback’s four phases “mediated reality becomes more important than the actual reality, in the sense that it is the mediated reality that people have access to and react to” (Stromback, 2008: 238). In addition, some claim that nowadays media and their logic are colonizing politics, since politicians and social actors are not able anymore to draw a clear distinction between political and media logic. However, in recent years most of the scholars agreed on the fact that both media and political actors are responsible of personalization (Van Aelst et al. 2012, Langer 2010) In fact, in this new setting, in which the political arena shifted physically from the seats of parliament to the bright sofas of TV-entertainment-shows, politicians embraced the change, hiring spin-doctors specialized in political marketing that could interpret and affect the public through various media-channels.5

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5

Nonetheless political marketing cannot take advantage of all the tools commercial marketing make use of, it shares the same mission of the latter: to affect, through communication strategies, citizens’ choices. In this new world of communication, political communication and political marketing are terms used interchangeably (Maarek, 2011).

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 7! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Gradually, candidate image building and media personalization became the interconnected main drivers of political communication. This happened for several reasons. First, as mentioned before, modernization and other forces concurred in the erosion of institutional and party consensus. Secondly, the attributes that the media logic found in the flourishing of the “American presidential system” in the Western world a chance to deliver, through a candidate-focus narration, political reporting (Campus 2010, Stayner 2007). Today, politicians are embracing this leader-driven narration and personify, through their mediated image the party values, policies and political identity (Langer, 2010; Campus 2010). Leaders tend to “go personal” ( Campus, 2010: 223) by sharing their leisure preferences, the lifestyle, stressing personality traits through nonpolitical talk shows and political non-convential media ( Campus, 2010; Langer, 2010). According to Langer (2007:372) “emphasizing the personal (not just the person) can enable leaders to appeal to those who are less interested in formal politics, to appear closer to ‘ordinary’ people and to legitimize, through the force of personal example, their political positions”. In a world where every house owns at least a TV, what politicians strive the most is ‘mediated visibility’. During these years, through their mediated images, politicians became ‘intimate strangers’ (Stanyer 2007) as if they were sports or TV stars. However, it is crucial to stress that it is not the leader’s personal life to build an emotional link with his voters but rather its process of mediation (Langer, 2010). Nowadays political leaders are inclined to make a strategic use of their “personal” and aim to deliver a personal successful image (Stromback & Nord 2006, Stayner 2007) in order to establish an emotional connection with voters (Campus, 2010). Overall, “the emphasis on the personal sphere of leaders seems to have grown into a common and accepted feature of political discourse” (Langer, 2010:61). However personalization raises many concerns. In the first place, it may affect the distribution of democratic power by consistently empowering Prime Ministers and Presidents and by diminishing the influence of political parties and institutions. Secondly, it might promote leaders !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 8! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

that are more popular, likeable and inclined to promote a successful mediated image rather than the skillful policy makers. Finally rise of personalization has contributed to a consistent depoliticization of news (van Aelst et.al 2012) that, in the long run, may negatively impact the communication in the national public sphere.6

Berlusconi’s spectacular personalization In the last two decades the Italian political scenario shown consistent traits of the observations above mentioned. Mediatisation and personalization of politics arisen dramatically since Silvio Berlusconi decided to run for prime minister in 19947. Berlusconi has been appointed as Italian prime minister three times (1994–96, 2001–06 and 2008–11), over the last two decades. In November 2011, he resigned under the pressure political and economic crisis that was strangling Italy in favor of a technical government. Today, even though he formally left the leadership of the party to his dolphin Angelino Alfano, he is still considered the head of the party with most seats in the Italian parliament. Calise (2004:97) claims that Forza Italia, the largest party of the right-wing coalition till 2008elections8, presents an “extreme case of presidentalization of party control” and it was developed as “Berlusconi’s personal party”. Besides party personalization, observers claim that the former Italian prime minister has been able to switch the political public discourse from hot issues on stake (e.g. fiscal policies, economical growth and rising unemployment) to a self-referendum: “pro or against Berlusconi” both during elections and political crisis, by applying permanent campaign strategies. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6

!Habermas defines the public sphere as a “ network for communicating information and points of view(…); the streams of communication are, in the process, filtered and synthesized in such a way that they coalesce into bundles of topically specified public opinions” (Habermas 2006, 360). 7 Silvio Berlusconi’s political rising was favored by the crisis of the traditional Italian mass parties, caused by corruption and scandals. At the same time, the introduction of majoritarian rule after decades of proportional voting favored political debate to be focused on candidates rather than parties and institutions ( Mazzoleni, 1996). ! 8 !In 2008 Berlusconi founded Il Popolo della Libertà (trasl. The People of Freedom). The party included Forza Italia and second largest right wing party, Alleanza Nazionale (trasl. National Alliance). However, former National Alliance party-leader Gianfranco Fini left the new party since it was too focused on Berlusconi’s leadership.! !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 9! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

The media tycoon was able to do that by taking advantage of an exceptional media exposure (Mazzoleni, 1994; Campus, 2006; Calise 2004). Berlusconi’s “spectacular personalization” (Campus, 2010) is more than peculiar. Berlusconi is the main driver of commercialization in the Italian media landscape, as owner of Fininvest Corporation. On the other hand, he has been the protagonist of the Italian political stage for nearly 20 years. Most of the political observers claim that Berlusconi has been applying throughout the years sophisticated techniques of political marketing9 to turn audiences into followers. “Berlusconi represents the colonization of politics by the mass media culture of which he has always been a champion” (Campus, 2010: 228). According to Campus (2010:231) “the most salient aspect of Berlusconi’s mediatized leadership is the imperative to establish a personal and direct relationship with the public, one that can be guaranteed only through the indispensable channel of television”. However, Berlusconi’s mediated image has not been transmitted just through his TV channels, the newspapers owned media conglomerate or by the peculiar Italian public broadcast.10 Especially in the last two years of his political mandate “all the news in every media were drugged by Berlusconi’s presence” (Travaglio, 2012). This exceptional media exposure ( Campus, 2006; Calise 2005) was encountered also in sportive media. In fact, amongst the many wealthy companies that made Berlusconi a celebrity before stepping in the political arena, Berlusconi owns the successful football club Ac Milan. In this way, he is one of the main protagonists of the Italian and European football. Many claim that Ac Milan represents one of the greatest means that Berlusconi has to grasp media attention and to appeal citizens that are not interested anymore in formal politics (Croci, 2001; Porro & Russo 2000 ; Turano, 2012). !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 9

!Berlusconi hired the director of the marketing research department at Fininvest, Gianni Pillo, as his main pollster and personal political advisors ( Poli, 1998)! 10 !In Italy the ruling party substantially affects TV- public broadcasting of the two main channels (RAI 1 and RAI 2) while the opposition party influences the third channel broadcasting (RAI 3). Lottizzazione is to consider a “two-way phenomenon in which politicians and journalists are evenly involved” (Padovani, 216). On the other hand, many journalists do not admit to receive any political pressure, claiming that journalism professionalization does not allow it anymore or that “ lottizzazione exists, but only in other TGs, not in mine” (Padovani, 174). The very same opinion of Italian professional journalists shows how an intrinsic hidden bias is performed in public TV broadcasting.! !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 10! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Italy, old saying states, is a “democracy based on football”. Italian media coverage rates record viewers and readers for football news. Some commentators state that popular Italian players like Roberto Baggio unify Italy more its own politicians ( Lewis, 2009). Nowadays Gazzetta dello Sport, a sport-focused newspaper, is the most red daily in Italy (4,5 millions viewers per day). According to Auditel’s media researches, the most watched event in the Italian broadcasting history has been the 2006 World Cup final Italy- France as the game drew an average viewership of 28 million (Corriere della Sera, 2006). In addition, the second most watched event is another football match, the World Cup semi-final Italy- Argentina (27.537 viewers on average) (Corriere della Sera, 1994). Silvio Berlusconi is considered a unique example of “hybridization of sport, mass media and politics” (Porro & Russo, 2000: 348). Through Ac Milan acquisition in 1986, Berlusconi reinforced companies organizational “vision” through the symbolic values of football. Equally, by applying his management strategies to football, Berlusconi built a personal allegory of success that throughout the last two decades he has often referred to in his political discourse. “Ac Milan keeps winning and making enjoying its fans. My government coalition will give the same satisfaction to Italians” (Berlusconi, 2004). In the existing literature it is observed that Berlusconi invented a new semantic language, “calcese” (trasl. footballese) (Fiori, 1995: 135), to build an emotional link amongst him, followers and potential supporters (Croci, 2001; Porro & Russo, 2000). When Berlusconi was asked to join a public debate for the 1994 elections together with his political opponent Luigi Spaventa, he commented: “This Spaventa, how many Champions Leagues has he won?” (Porro & Russo, 2000). According to Porro and Russo (2000: 354). “Berlusconi’s political discourse was directed to creating in the minds of citizen-fans a simple mental equation: that the old business adage of one best way is true, that in sport as in politics, you have to know what you are doing and that there are those like Berlusconi who do, combining the figure of the business wizard with the charisma of the born leader of men”.

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 11! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

The autobiographical pamphlet “Una Storia Italiana” (Forza Italia, 2001) (trasl. An Italian story) shows a mediated image of Berlusconi, where private, political and football achievements build up his personal allegory of success. This booklet was sent to every Italian household and was intended to boost Berlusconi’s popularity for the 1994 and 2001 elections. Italian national team and Milan football stars such as Paolo Maldini, Arrigo Sacchi and Franco Baresi define Berlusconi as “magic”, “winner” and “genial man”. In addition, in the booklet it is possible to find the list of Berlusconi trophies won by Ac Milan during his ownership, to show political reliability as well. Critics largely agree that Berlusconi’s AC Milan ownership has concurred in creating a successful mediated image ( Porro & Russo, 2000; Lewis, 2009; Carli, 1998) while others stress the fact that during pre-electoral campaigns he has often been overexposed media-wise also on sportive outlets (Campus, 2010). Observers claim that from 2007 to 2010 Berlusconi did not need the help of Ac Milan sportive success to boost his winning image since he was firmly on Italy’s driver seat as newly elected Prime Minister. For this reason, Turano (2012) argues that Ac Milan pursued in those years austerity measures. From January 2010 to October 2011, Berlusconi faced a constant decrease in the index approval (figure 1). At the same time, as Ac Milan owner, he consistently invested in the football team, buying world-class players and assembling a dream-team. Football experts judged these operations very unusual. According to Schianchi, “ Ibrahimovic11 signing for Ac Milan is both a sportive and political move. (…) With government political crisis worsening, Berlusconi needs to improve and reinforce his popular consensus, especially in North Italy, in order to face at his best potential early elections” (Schianchi, 2010). In an interviewed released to the author of this research, L’Espresso journalist Gianfranco Turano claimed that this change in Ac Milan strategy was due to Berlusconi’s will to boost his “allegory of success” and “to embrace again a winning role in the Italian society” (G.Turano, personal communication, May 5, 2012). Alberto Cerruti, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11

!Ibrahimovic moved from Barcelona to Ac Milan for about 24 millions euros. He signed a 9 million euro contract with Berlusconi’s football club becoming the most paid player in Italy.! !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 12! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

eminent Italian columnist at the sportive newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, shares the same point of view. “When Berlusconi was trapped in political troubles and rating approval decreased in 20102011, he tried to boost his public image through football” (A. Cerruti, personal communication, May 28, 2012). Thus, according to specialist Berlusconi used Ac Milan as political marketing tool in the years 2010-2011. Yet, in the end, Ac Milan 2010/2011 winning season did not increase his popularity because “ Italian people were too focused on the economic and political crisis” (G.Turano, personal communication, May 5, 2012) and “the investments were not consistent and continuous as in the old days” (A. Cerruti, personal communication, May 28, 2012). It is then possible to retrieve relevant data set in the years 2010 and 2011 in order to explore more extensively the impact of these strategies in terms of media coverage. Overall, most of the studies hereby quoted are either qualitative or part of literature overviews. Media analysis of sportive media in this process has been barely taken in consideration even though the rate of viewers of the three main sportive Italian is extremely high (Audipress, 2011). In this light, this research analyzes for the first time throughout a comparative and longitudinal quantitative analysis Berlusconi’s mediated image on sportive media. The overall aim of the study is to investigate if Ac Milan has been a means of Berlusconi media personalization. Langer (2009) and Campus (2010) sustain that today leaders are keen of media visibility in order to gain strategic publicity. In addition, from a political marketing perspective, leader’s mediated image present on “soft” media coverage would appeal citizens less interest in formal politics and legitimize their political position by sharing the same emotions of his potential voters. In the existing literature is argued that Berlusconi has been the only political leader in the last 40 years to be involved at highest level in the Italian political arena and on the football pitch (Turano, 2012). It is then crucial to inspect to what extent Ac Milan ownership granted him of a greater visibility on popular sportive media outlets in comparison with his political competitors (e.g. Pierluigi Bersani

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 13! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

and Pier Ferdinando Casini)12. To conduct a more accurate investigation, Berlusconi’s football owners competitors ( e.g. Massimo Moratti, Andrea Agnelli)13 will be included in the research in order to analyze former Prime Minister is presence in relation with his football ownership on sportive outlets. Thus, it will be run a research limited to the selected political and football actors mentioned above over the two-year timeslot (2010-2011). Therefore RQ1 is: RQ1: To what extent is Berlusconi present on sportive media coverage in comparison with his political and sportive competitors? Many commentators state that Italian mainstream media is very much Berlusconi driven. In this light, it is here assumed that mainstream coverage shows a high level of Berlusconi media personalization. Thus, Italian mainstream personalization level is here considered as yardstick to measure sportive media personalization. In other words, if sportive coverage scores in the personalization index14 as much as or higher than mainstream one does, it will be then considered personalized. Hence, RQ is: RQ2: To what extent is Berlusconi’s media coverage personalized on sportive outlets? It is then investigated, on the basis of the above-mentioned assumptions, the outcome of the political marketing strategies carried by Berlusconi over 2010 and 2011 throughout Ac Milan in terms of media coverage. In other words, it is here analyzed Berlusconi’s delivered mediated image rather than his actual political marketing plan. In this light, three hypothesis have been elaborated: •

H1 When Berlusconi’s rating approval scores low, sportive Berlusconi’s media coverage personalization index scores high.

H2 When Berlusconi’s rating approval scores low, sportive media coverage tone scores high

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12

!Respectively leaders of the Democratic Party (largest left wing party) and Union of Democratic and Christian party (center) 13 !Moratti and Agnelli own respectevely Inter Milan and Juventus Football Club.! 14 To learn more about the personalization index see methodology. !


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 14! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

H3 When the tone of mainstream coverage is low, the tone sportive coverage is high

According to H1 and H2 Berlusconi’s rating approval affects the level of personalization and the tone of the sportive media. It is hypothesized that in times of personal or governmental low rating approval Berlusconi sportive media personalization rises (H1). Furthermore H2 claims that there is a casual link between Berlusconi’s rating approval and the tone evaluation encountered in Gazzetta dello sport. Thus, sportive media coverage would concur in either creating a Berlusconi-centered debate on soft-issues in the Italian public sphere and/or delivering a positive image of the former Italian Prime Minister. Therefore, Berlusconi’s mediated and personalized image would reach a transversal public and citizens less interested in formal politics in times of low rating approval. Finally H3 theorizes a casual link between the tone of mainstream coverage and the one in sportive coverage. In other words, if mainstream tone goes down, sportive tone goes up.

Methodology Research units and sample The two research questions and the three hypotheses are investigated on the Berlusconi related coverage of relevant mainstream and sportive media. The selected outlets are: La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Corriere della Sera. La Gazzetta dello Sport is the most red newspaper in Italy with 4.420.000 (Auditel, 2011), therefore its articles represent significant research units in the Italian media outlet. The sportive newspaper was founded in Milan in 1896. At the beginning, it was mostly focused on sportive cyclists, then, over the years, it specialized in football coverage. It is the only Italian daily that is printed not on white paper. In fact, the color of its pages is pink. It has always been one of the most popular Italian newspaper. In 1975 had about 1 million readers (fourth in Italy), in 1983 had about 3 millions and became the most reader Italian media outlet. On the 10th July 2006, the following day !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 15! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

of the Italian victory over France in the 2006 Fifa World Cup, the sportive newspaper broke the record of the most sold Italian printed media: about 2 million and half of copies (La Gazzetta dello Sport, 2006). On the other hand, Il Corriere della Sera is the second most red mainstream newspaper in Italy with 3.274.000 readers (Audipress, 2011). It is one of the oldest Italian newspapers, as it was founded in Turin in 1866. After an early bankruptcy, the central office of the newspaper moved to Milan in 1876. In 2011 has reached the greatest diffusion in Italy regarding mainstream newspaper with about 480.000 copies (Audipress, 2011). According to some observers, Il Corriere della Sera represents the newspaper that reflects the most the opinions of the establishment ( Galli Della Loggia, 1998). It has been selected in the place of the most red mainstream newspaper, La Repubblica (3.276.000 readers), because is considerably more neutral and objective regarding Berlusconi’s political and personal affairs.15 The research is focused on a selected time frame because Berlusconi has been part of the political stage for almost two decades and this article, due to time and space restrains, cannot cover such extensive time slot. As mentioned in the previous section, observers claim that Berlusconi used Ac Milan as political marketing tool during 2010 and 2011 in order to boost is popularity. Thus, relevant data is expected in this time slot regarding the effect of these strategies in terms of media coverage. Consequently, it has been selected the time frame 2010 – 2011. To answer RQ 1 it will be calculated an overall degree of visibility of Berlusconi and of his political competitors over 24 months (2010-2011): Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the largest left wing party and Pier Ferdiando Casini, leader of Union of Catholic-Democrats. Furthermore, Juventus football club and Inter Milan’s owners will be included in the analysis in order to compare Berlusconi overall mentions in the sportive media with his most popular football counterparts. The overall !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 15

!The left wing identity of La Repubblica and the current legal battles between the editor of the newspaper and Berlusconi himself (Kingtone, 2009) make the former Prime Minister’s coverage as much biased as Berlusconi’s owned media (in opposite terms).

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 16! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

degree of visibility will be calculated through a research of tags with the names of selected political leaders and football owners in Gazzetta dello Sport’s archive. RQ2 and the other hypothesis (H1,H2,H3) are investigated by selecting significant articles from the two media outlets. In other words, articles that mention Silvio Berlusconi more than once were included in the sample. In order to do this, it was run a research with the most Berlusconi’s related popular tag (“Berlusconi” “Prime Minister” “Ac Milan”) in the archive of the sportive newspaper. The articles included in 2010-2011 sportive coverage (24 months) are 102. Similarly, Il Corriere della Sera’s articles have been selected accordingly to specific tags (“Berlusconi”, “Prime Minister”, “Government”) that could highlight Berlusconi’s related relevant articles. In total, the articles with these tags are 2553 over the selected 24 months. However, due to time and space restrains, 140 articles have been selected throughout 7 months of coverage between 2010 and 2011.16 In the first place, the choice of Corriere della Sera’s coverage months has been made according to the number of articles present in Gazzetta dello Sport’s ones. In this way, it has been possible to draw a meaningful comparison between the two media outlets. Secondly, Corriere’s months of reporting were selected randomly because the coverage is unequally spread over the considered 24 months. Thus, according to these criteria, March 2010, May 2010, September 2010, November 2010, December 2010, April 2011 and October 2011 were chosen as part of the sample. Finally, 20 articles were picked randomly per month out of a total, on average, of 74 articles characterized by the above-mentioned tags.

Variables and code sheet It was used the multivariate index elaborated by Langer (2007, 2010) to measure Berlusconi’s personalization in the both media outlets and to investigate RQ2 and H1. The index deconstructs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16

!Overall, throughout the chosen 7 months, 520 articles were retrieved with tags “Berlusconi”, “Prime Minister” and “Governement”.! !


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 17! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

personalization in three main dimensions: personal qualities, leadership qualities and personal life. The first are defined as references to Berlusconi possessing or lacking personal qualities: likeable, normal/odd, personable/remote, loving/cold, humble/cocky and funny/humorless. Leadership qualities are defined as manifest reference to personality virtues that highlight Berlusconi’s governing skills or its opposites: integrity, strength/reliability, competence/intelligence public communication rhetorical skills. In addition, the label “personal life” indicates references to Berlusconi’s private life in the analyzed articles: family life, personal appearance, life-style, leisure preferences, experiences during his childhood/youth and religious affiliations. Researchers were asked to code the sample for the presence/absence of manifest references, both positive and negative, of these three dimensions. However, it was not required to specify which one of the subcategory was encountered.17 Furthermore, the author elaborated a personalization index by month and media. The personalization index was calculated on the basis of Langer (2010) multivariate index, by giving a score of personalization to every coded reporting piece by media from 0 to 3 (according to how many dimensions were coded in the article). Finally, the values by article were added up and divided by the number of articles present in the month and as a result it was obtained the value of the personalization index by media and month. Berlusconi index approval was coded in order to test a negative correlation amongst Berlusconi’s political fate, sportive media coverage personalization (H1) and reporting evaluation (H2). Berlusconi index approval has been provided by the Italian political survey center Demos&pi (2011) that has constantly investigated throughout the selected time slot Berlusconi’s support. However, since 13 values are missing out the 24 months considered in the time slot 2010-2011, this research consider relevant to include Berlusconi’s governmental rating from CIRCAP archive at University of Siena (2011). In this light Berlusconi index approval over the selected 24 months is the following: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17

!

For more information check the code sheet in the appendix.!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 18! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

Figure 1 about here H3 theorizes a casual link between the tone of mainstream coverage and the one in sportive coverage. In other words, if mainstream tone goes down, sportive tone goes up. The variable has been modeled on Schuck et al. (2011) standards’. The “tone” variable indicates a positive or negative tendency expressed by the article’s author, politicians, commentators, story’s protagonist, and independent sources towards Berlusconi or policies clearly associated with Berlusconi. The evaluation of the tone reporting was coded according to Berlusconi’s perspective. Every article was assigned just one code for the explicit evaluation of Berlusconi in the article. The tone evaluation score has 6 levels: negative (1), rather negative (2), mixed/balanced (3), rather positive (4), positive (5) and no evaluation.18 The author coded all the research units. A second coder autonomously coded a selected subset of articles for each outlet (20%). Then it was calculated the percentage of agreement through an intercoder reliability test. Overall, it was encounter 87.5% percentage of agreement and Cohen’s kappa was .81.

Results •

RQ 1: To what extent is Berlusconi present on sportive media coverage in comparison with his political and sportive competitors?

Table 1 shows that Berlusconi is largely more visible on Gazzetta dello Sport coverage over the selected 24 months. In fact, in Gazzetta’s articles are found mentions per day to Berlusconi or his family. On the other hand, Bersani and Casini enjoy slightly more than 1/10 of Berlusconi’s mentions. At the same time, table 1 shows that Berlusconi’s football contenders have a more similar degree of visibility in comparison with him. While Massimo Moratti or his family are mentioned !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18

!

!It was coded as missing value on SPSS in order to not bias the analysis and the overall scale. !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 19! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

slightly less than 5 times a day per Gazzetta dello Sport issue, Andrea Agnelli or his family appear on the pages of the sportive newspaper about twice per day day. Table 1 about here •

RQ 2: To what extent is Berlusconi’s media coverage personalized on sportive outlets over

time? Firstly, the personalization index was analyzed through a cross-tab analysis on the 7 months randomly selected over the two-year coverage 2010-2011: five from 2010 (March, May, September, November, December) two from 2011 (April, October). The crosstab shows the categories’ total percentages of the selected months (see table 2). Overall, a relevant data is that references to Berlusconi’s leadership qualities are very much highly present in both newspapers ( Gazzetta = 88,9% ; Corriere = 81,4%). In the second place references to Berlusconi’s personal life are detected once every two articles on the sportive media ( Gazzetta = 53,3%). On the other hand, references of this category appear on the mainstream media slightly more than once every three articles (34,4%). Finally, Berlusconi’s personal qualities are manifested slightly less than once every two articles on both sportive and mainstream ( Gazzetta = 46,7%; Corriere = 42,1% ). Table 3 about here Furthermore, in order to investigate RQ2 it was elaborated a personalization index ( 0 to 3) that shows the combined score of the three categories according to month and media. Figure 1 suggests that the sportive coverage is more personalized the Corriere’s one. An exception to this trend is shown in April 2011, where Corriere’s personalization index scores slightly higher (1,80) than Gazzetta’s (1,75), and October 2011, where the personalization index scores the same value ( 1,60). To test whether the difference showed by the graph is significant it was run an independent T-Test T (12)= 2,35, p < .05. The two groups reach a different overall average on the scale of the personalization index (0 to 3) and the difference is significant. As the test shows, Gazzetta’s !


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 20! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

coverage (M=1,92; SD= 0,28) is more personalized than Corriere’s one (M = 1,58; SD= 0,25). Both outlets result to be highly personalized since the indexes scores are between 1,5 and 3. Overall, in the selected months, the analysis shows that Gazzetta’s personalization index scores higher than Corriere’s one. Figure 2 about here •

H1 When B. rating approval scores low, sportive B. media coverage personalization index scores high.

In the first place, it has been elaborated a graph in order to inspect visually the data. Figure 3 shows that Berlusconi personal index is constantly declining from January 2010 (46,4%) to December 2011 (22%), with few exceptions (June 2010, September 2010, December 2010, February 2011 and June 2011). Conversely, Gazzetta dello Sport’s personalization index is substantially fluctuating over the 24 months (n= 102) and it is not observable any specific correlation between the two data sets. Figure 3 about here Thus, this hypothesis has been investigated throughout Pearson’s correlation on the Gazzetta dello Sport’s sample ( N= 102) and Berlusconi’s rating approval. It is then retrieved a tendency towards a negative correlation between the two variables. However, the relation is very weak ( r= -.072) and it is not significant ( p>,05). •

H2 When Berlusconi’s rating approval scores low, sportive media coverage tone is high.

Figure 4 has been elaborated in order to inspect visually the trends of Berlusconi rating approval and sportive media coverage over the considered 24 months. As mentioned above, Berlusconi’s popularity shows a substantial constant decrease over time. On the other hand, Gazzetta dello Sport’s tone considerably fluctuates in the selected time slot. !


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 21! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

Figure 4 about here In this light, to test a negative correlation between the two variables, H3 has been investigated throughout Pearson’s correlation coefficient on the Gazzetta dello Sport’s sample ( N= 102) and the Berlusconi’s index approval over 24 months (2010-2011). The analysis shows a weak negative correlation between the variables (r = -,243). Nevertheless, the relation is not significant ( p>, 05). •

H3 When the tone of mainstream coverage is negative, sportive coverage is positive

Table 5 and table 6 show the distribution of the two tones indexes referred to the 7 randomly selected months. Mainstream media coverage’s tone (Corriere) is mainly “mixed” (overall Berlusconi’s evaluation is in balance). Regarding Corriere’s reporting evaluations, articles with a “negative” tone are 15,20% of the total, the “rather negative” ones are 20,80%. On the other hand, articles with a “positive” evaluation reach 6,40% of the total, while the ones classified as “rather positive” represent the 20,80%. Generally, there is a normal distribution in the mainstream tone evaluation index. On the other hand, table 2 shows a consistent “positive” (47,50%) and rather “positive” (27,50%) overall evaluation in the Gazzetta tone index of the selected months. In fact, “mixed” reporting scores 12,50% of the total while “negative” and “rather negative” evaluations are encounter just for the 5% and 7,50% of the total. Figure 7 shows similar fluctuation between the tones’ indexes (besides March 2010). The visual inspection (figure 7) confirms that over the considered 7 months Gazzetta dello Sport’s reporting tone is substantially higher than Corriere della Sera’s one (besides the months March 2010 and May 2010). To investigate H3 it has been tested the correlation between the two data sets. It has been then calculated the Pearson’s correlation coefficient of the two tones indexes in the 7 chosen months. The analysis shows that the correlation is weak and positive between the two variables ( r=,015) and not significant ( p>,05).

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 22! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

Sportive media personalization As mentioned above, Berlusconi’s personalization is heavily encountered in Gazzetta dello Sport’s articles. This outlet describes Berlusconi as possessing leadership qualities (e.g. power, determination, toughness, firmness, decisiveness and managerial skills). « If (Berlusconi) did not have governmental responsibilities, he could be a successful football coach » claimed SSC Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis (Pasotto, 2011). Gazzetta dello sport’s articles suggest that Berlusconi is involved in all Ac Milan’s decisions. Nonetheless the right wing leader does not have any operational role in Ac Milan, he is considered as the reason of the team’s good luck. References to Berlusconi’s personal life are often manifested as well. Berlusconi personal appearance is described as a mark of his dynamic life-style (“Berlusconi wears an hat and jogging vest” Gazzetta dello Sport, 2011). In the coded articles, Berlusconi’s family life is constantly on the pages of sportive outlets. For instance, reporters ask him about the love story between Brazilian world famous forward Alexandre Pato and Berlusconi’s daughter, Barbara Berlusconi. “When somebody asks his opinion about the relationship between his daughter Barbara and Pato, the Prime Minister answers: next question?”. Finally, references to his personal qualities (e.g. likeable, charming, funny, humble/ arrogant) are often manifested since the Ac Milan owner often delivers jokes and declarations to boost his personal image as winner: “Berlusconi turns smiling when he makes a joke about Santiago Bernabeu, former Real Madrid owner: «I won the double of the cups that Bernabeu won with Real (Madrid).19 It was then named after him the stadium where Real Madrid plays today. I wish to have the same luck one day!»” (Pasotto, 2011). Discussion and Conclusion The overall question directing this study it was if Ac Milan has been a means of Berlusconi media personalization. It is has been here analyzed Berlusconi’s mediated image on printed media rather

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 19

!

“In reality, Bernabeu won a football title more than Berlusconi” (Goal, 2011).


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 23! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

than his actual political marketing plan. The analysis shows some consistent findings regarding the outcome of Berlusconi’s political marketing strategies on sportive media coverage. In the first place, during the two years of media coverage considered, Berlusconi is strikingly the most visible individual amongst his political competitors on the selected sportive media, La Gazzetta dello Sport (RQ 1). Results show that Berlusconi achieves a similar visibility to his football competitors. The largely discussed former Prime Minister’s exceptional media exposure (Travaglio, 2012; Mazzoleni, 1994; Campus, 2006; Calise 2004) is then encountered also in sportive reporting. Furthermore, Berlusconi’s personalization is heavily retrieved in Gazzetta dello Sport’s (RQ2). In addition, the investigation displays that the negative correlations amongst Berlusconi’s rating approval, Gazzetta dello Sport’s personalization index over 24 months (H1) and the tone of its coverage (H2) are weak and insignificant. In this light, it is not possible to conclude that the rating approval affects Berlusconi’s personalization index and sportive coverage tone on this outlet. Finally, the comparison of the 7 selected months of media coverage between Corriere della Sera and Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed that the tone of the two newspapers dramatically differ (H3). The first tends to be balanced/rather negative, while the latter is constantly rather positive/positive ( Figure 6 & 7). Nonetheless, the analysis shows that H3 is not confirmed. In fact, correlation is positive and insignificant. On the basis of these results here it is needed to clarify the study limitations. Time and space constraints did not allow the author to investigate a larger data set in a longer period of time. Berlusconi’s theorized political marketing strategy to promote his image throughout Ac Milan took place for about two decades. However, sample selection limits the results and conclusions of this study to the investigated outlets over the designated period of time (2010 – 2011). In addition, the size of the data set may have been affecting the study significance for H1, H2 and H3. In this light, correlation over time between Berlusconi’s rating approval, Gazzetta dello Sport’s personalization index over 24 months (H1) and the tone of sportive media (H2), needs further researches to be !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 24! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

proved or dismantled. In fact, the retrieved weak negative correlation leaves open inquiries about these two hypotheses. At the same time, it is possible to argue that H3 related analysis has judged the existing positive correlation as insignificant because the data set may have been considered too small. Anyway, since H3 theorized a negative correlation between the two tones indexes, the hypothesis is rejected. All in all, this article underpins the claims from various observers ( Turano, personal communication, May 8, 2012; Cerruti, personal communication, May 28, 2012; Schianchi 2012) that Berlusconi used Ac Milan ownership as a political marketing tool to boost his popularity in the two years preceding his political debacle in November 2011. This analysis needs to be interpreted by looking at broader trends. In the last decades, ongoing phenomena such as modernization,! individualization!and!secularization triggered the fall of voters’ interest in political ideals and

traditional citizens’ party membership (Blumer and Kavanagh; 1999). In the existing literature these trends have created the conditions of the rise of media personalization.20 Campus (2010) argues that nowadays, leaders’ most important marketing tool “to drive public opinion is his or her image”. Thus, “the real question is how the leaders may succeed in developing powerful and efficient strategies to capture high-level visibility and positive media coverage” (Campus, 2010 : 221). This research suggests that Ac Milan ownership granted the former Prime Minister these two goals in times of political crisis. In fact, Ac Milan ownership provided Berlusconi the key to attract media attention on the most popular newspaper in the Italian landscape, Gazzetta dello Sport. Occasionally, Gazzetta’s journalists that reported about the former Prime Minister doubted his sportive related statements, but always with positive evaluations. For instance, Berlusconi declared in April 2011 ( during regional electoral campaign) that his “personal dream” was to buy Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo. Pasotto commented:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20

!This phenomenon is “widely understood as a systematic focusing of the mass media and the public on individual top candidates and incumbents” (Helms, 2012: 6).! !


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 25! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

“Maybe, sometimes (Berlusconi) makes declarations are hardly understandable, like X-Files, out of the reality, and maybe that happens because in this period of the year he is carrying on some political strategies. After all Ac Milan supporters like Berlusconi just the way he is”. Pasotto (2011) Overall, Gazzetta dello Sport has delivered consistent positive reporting evaluations in 2010 and 2011 regarding Berlusconi. In this timeslot, the sportive outlet covered Berlusconi’s related news with more positive evaluation than Corriere della Sera did. Furthermore, high levels of media personalization retrieved in Gazzetta dello Sport show that its readers would perceive Berlusconi as humanized ( Holtz-Bacha, 2004) and “closer to ordinary people” ( Langer, 2007: 372). According to Langer (2010; 2007) leader’s media personalization creates the conditions for leaders to appeal citizens that are less interested in formal politics. In the existing literature, observer claim that Berlusconi used his Ac Milan ownership to build a personal allegory of success to promote first in the business world and then in the political arena (Poli, 1998; Porro & Russo 2000). Taking this into account, the study leaves further aspect to investigate for future researchers. In fact, the negative correlation between decreasing rating approval, the personalization of the sportive coverage (H1) and its positive tone (H2) could not be confirmed. It his here argued that this is due to the size of the data set. Furthermore, it is needed a larger sample to investigate H3. In this light, this research cannot furnish a complete resolution to the overall aim of the study. Thus, future studies will be able to compare the data retrieved in this research and the significant result of H1 and H2. However, all in all, the article suggests that Berlusconi’s high-level visibility, personalization and constant positive evaluations on the most popular printed media granted him the possibility to boost his popularity and promote his image through sportive media. Basing its assumptions on the above mentioned theoretical framework and the retrieved data, this article interprets Berlusconi’s mediated

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 26! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

image attributes on sportive media as an outcome of political marketing strategies in terms of media coverage. Thus, the article claims that Ac Milan has been a means of Berlusconi media personalization in the time slot 2010 – 2011. Berlusconi’s personalization strategy of “going personal” ( Campus, 2010: 223) throughout Ac Milan successes contributed to promote his “allegory of success” during the years. “The winning team thus reinforced the image of the winning man” (Croci, 1998) favoring his consensus in a setting where the crisis of the traditional Italian mass parties left enough room in the 90s for the rise of a new charismatic leader (Mazzoleni, 1996). Nevertheless Ac Milan won the championship 2010-2011 thanks to Berlusconi’s new world-class football players, the constant decreasing rate of Berlusconi’s consensus ( Pi&Demos and Cicarp Archive 2011) did not stop from January 2010 to November 2011. On the 13th November, political and economic crisis worsening concurred in Berlusconi’s resigning from Prime Minister. Therefore, in the time frame considered by this article, the winning team did not reinforce the image of Berlusconi. According to Alberto Cerruti, La Gazzetta dello Sport’s relevant columnist, “Berlusconi took advantage of his football triumphs especially at the early stages of his political carrier. In 2010-2011 he tried to boost his popularity through football. However he could not achieve the same results. Firstly, because of people got used to his Ac Milan ownership. Secondly, because he did not invest in the club as much as he did in the past” (Cerruti, personal communication, May 28, 2012) On the other hand, Turano (personal communication, May 8, 2012) argues that “voters were too tired and focused on the economic/political crisis” to pay attention to Ac Milan triumphs in 20102011. Berlusconi hybrid relationship with football and politics delivered through sportive media personalization is an example of how significant can sport be in some public spheres. The model !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 27! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

left by the former Prime Minister could be embraced by new public figures that want to “take the field”, in Berlusconi’s metaphor, and join the political arena. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo ( Ferrari head manager), Luca Della Valle (owner of Fiorentina football club) and Maurizio Zamparini ( owner of Palermo football club) are already showing the early signs of mixed involvement in sports and politics. To conclude with, this article can represent a starting point for future researchers regarding other political and sportive actors besides Berlusconi.

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 28! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Appendix

Figure 1

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 29! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

Political Leader

Berlusconi (People of Freedom – right wing coalition) Bersani (Democratic party – left wing) Casini (Catholic Union – center coalition) Football owner

Berlusconi (Ac Milan) Moratti (Inter Milan) Agnelli ( Juventus FC)

Visibility over 24 months (2010-2011) on Gazzetta dello Sport (in retrived tags) 3626

Mentions per day

466

0,63

108

0,14

Visibility over 24 months (2010-2011) on Gazzetta dello Sport (in mentions) 3626

Mentions per day

3504

4,8

1496

2,04

4,9

4,9

Table 1: Mentions of Berlusconi and his political and football competitors over 2010 and 2011 on Gazzetta dello Sport

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 30! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

!

!

Leadership qualities

NOT MANIFEST

MANIFEST

TOTAL

Gazzetta dello Sport

11.1% (5)

88,9% (40)

100% (45)

Corriere della Sera

18.6% (26)

81,4% (114)

100% (140)

Personal Life

NOT MANIFEST

MANIFEST

TOTAL

Gazzetta dello Sport

46,7% (21)

53,3% (24)

100% (45)

Corriere della Sera

65,7 (92)

34,3% (48)

100% (140)

Personal qualities

NOT MANIFEST

MANIFEST

TOTAL

Gazzetta dello Sport

53,3% (24)

46,7% (21)

100% (45)

Corriere della Sera

57,9% (81)

42,1 (59)

100% (140)

Table 2. Percentages of retrieved personalization multivariate indexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s categories over the 7 selected months.

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 31! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Figure 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Personalization index over 7 months

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 32! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Figure 3: H2, Berlusconiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rating approval & Gazzetta dello sport personalization index over 24 months ( 2010-2011)

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 33! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Figure 4: H3, Berlusconiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rating approval & Gazzettaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tone over 24 months ( 2010-2011)

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 34! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Figure 5 & 6

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 35! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Figure 7: H4, Corriere della Seraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Gazzetta dello Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tones indexes over the 7 selected months.

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 36! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Code sheet 1.#Personalization#index#(3/5).# Coders! are! asked! to! code! for! the! presence/absence! of! references! to! personal! qualities,! personal! life! and! leadership! qualities.! They! are! not,! however,! asked! to! specify! which! of! the! sub>categories! were! present/absent!as!these!were!included!for!the!purpose!of!clarification!only.!! Leadership!qualities,!Personal!life,!Personal!qualities:!PRESENCE=!1! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ABSENCE=!0! 2.##Tone#(6)# #

Explicitly!(only!if!the!story!or!somebody!in!the!story!says/!depicts!so):!! Is!Berlusconi!evaluated!favorably!or!unfavorably!(regardless!of!the!source)!from!his/her!own! perspective?! Refers! to! tendency/bias! contained! in! the! presentation! by! a! journalist,! protagonist!or!his!partners,!competitors,!independent!sources!(e.g.!politicians,!businessmen,! observers)!The!tendency!must!be!expressed:!>!explicitly,!by!using!terms!of!clearly!positive!or! negative!judgment!(e.g.,!”good”,!”promising”,!”ominous”,!”disappointing”).!Per!news!item!you! only!assign!one!(overall)!code!for!the!explicit!evaluation!of!an!actor!in!a!story.!! ! NOTE:! Any! element! that! is! associated! with! Berlusconi! (e.g.,! policies,! Berlusconi! residence,! Italian!government!assembled!by!Berlusconi)!also!forms!a!part!of!the!evaluation!of!Berlusconi! himself.!! ! All!evaluations!are!judged!from!the!perspective!of!Berlusconi.! ! !Missing!value!(9)=!no!evaluation! 1!=!negative! 2!=!rather!negative! 3!=!balanced/mixed! 4!=!rather!positive! 5!=!positive! ! # # # # # # # # # !


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 37! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Code#Sheet# ! 0.)! Number:! Every! article! has! a! number! to! make! the! identification! of! the! article! in! the! analysis! ! (! Corriere#della#Sera:#0#Gazzetta#dello#sport#)! 1.)!Date!! On!which!date!was!the!article!published?!! 2.)!Headline!!! The!headline!is!important!for!further!references!to!be!done!regarding!the!article.!The!formulation!of! the!headline!may!show!the!focus!of!the!article.! 3)!Leadership!qualities! Are!in!the!article!any!references,!both!positive!and!negative,!to!one!or!more!of!the!following!leadership! qualities?! 3.a)! Integrity:! honesty,! sincerity,! decency,! high! morals,! trustworthiness,! principled! (stick! to! principles),!non>corrupted!or!similar,!and!their!opposites.! 3.b)! Strength/reliability:! courage,! power,! determination,! toughness,! firmness,! decisiveness,! shrewdness,!reliability,!dependability,!or!similar!and!their!opposites.!! 3.c)! Competence/intelligence:! record! (including! previous! political! experience! and! performance),! qualifications,! ability! as! statesman/diplomat/negotiator,! managerial! skills,! intelligence! (or! bright,! smart),! ‘brain! power’! to! understand! and! solve! issues,! knowledge,! effectiveness,! focus,! or! similar! and! their!opposites! 3.d)!Public!communication!and!rhetorical!skills:!quality!(or!lack!thereof)!of!his!performances!as!leader! in!Parliamentary!debates,!the!media,!and!other!public!realms.!! ! 4)!Personal!life! Is!in!the!article!any!references!to!Berlusconi’s!personal!life?! 4.a)! Family! life:! behavior,! experiences! and! feelings! as! father,! partner,! son/daughter,! etc,! e.g.! family! activities,!their!emotional!support!or!influence,!how!he!met!his!wife.! 4.b)!Personal!appearance:!dress!style!and!its!‘meanings’,!physical!attributes!(e.g.!hair),!attractiveness.!! 4.c)!Life>Style:!life>style!choices!made!in!the!private!sphere/affecting!personal!behaviour!in!everyday! life!such!as!diet,!physical!activity,!smoking,!cycling,!choice!of!car,!recycling,!etc.!! 4.d)!Leisure!preferences:!likes!and!dislikes!(in!food,!readings,!music,!etc),!hobbies!(e.g.!playing!guitar),! recreational! or! social! activities! (e.g.! sports).! It! also! includes! holidays! but! NOT! if! the! reference! is! restricted!to!mentioning!that!s/he!is!absent!from!No!10!or!temporarily!not!in!charge!of!government!

!


Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 38! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

! 4.e)! Upbringing:! experiences! during! his/her! childhood! and! youth! but! these! are! NOT! restricted! to! his/her!formal!education!or!previous!jobs.!If!referring!to!the!latter,!only!if!it!also!mentions!how!these! have!affected!his/her!personality!and/or!â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;life>choicesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.!! 4.f)!Religion:!his/her!religious!affiliation,!beliefs,!or!religious!activities.!These!must!be!outside!his/her! official!activities!(e.g.!visit!to!St!Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s!Cathedral!in!Remembrance!Day).! ! 5)Personal!qualities! Are!in!the!article!any!references!to!Berlusconi!possessing!or!lacking!personal!qualities?! 5.a)! Likeable:! nice! person/guy;! charming;! kind;! good! to! go! to! the! pub/for! dinner! with! (or! nasty;! unappealing;!dull;!dislikeable).!! 5.b)! Normal:! normal! kind! of! person/guy;! down! to! earth;! has! the! common! touch/in>touch;! human;! a! real!person;!cool!(or!awkward;!odd;!too!intellectual).!! 5.c)!Personable:!amiable;!affable;!approachable;!charming;!good!at!relating!to,!or!communicating!with,! or!connecting!with!all!kinds!of!people/with!the!common!men!(or!remote;!detached;!antisocial).! 5.!d)!Loving:!warm;!affectionate;!loving;!touchy>feeling;!cuddly;!gentle!(or!cold;!aloof;!dour).! 5.!e)!Humble:!unpretentious!(or!cocky;!arrogant).! 5.!f)!Funny:!has!a!good!sense!of!humor!(or!humorless;!grumpy;!boring).!! ! 6.)!Reporting!!! Is!the!reporting!in!a!positive,!negative!or!rather!neutral!way?!!!

Missing!value!(9)!=!no!evaluation! 1=!negative! 2=!rather!negative! 3=!balanced/mixed! 4=!rather!positive! 5!=!positive! # # # # # # # # #

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 39! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Bibliography Blumler, J.G. and Kavanagh, D. (1999) "The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features," Political Communication 16 (3): 209-30. Calise, M. (2005) "Presidentialization, Italian Style." In The Presidentialization of Politics: A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies, Oxford, Oxford University Press: 88-106 Galli Della Loggia, E. (1998) L'identità italiana, "Il Mulino", Bologna Campus, D. (2010). “Mediatization and Personalization of Politics in Italy and France: The Cases of Berlusconi and Sarkozy“. International Journal of Press/Politics 15 (April): 219-235. Campus, D. (2006): The 2006 election: more than ever, a Berlusconi-centred campaign, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 11:4, 516-531 Croci, O. (2001): Language and politics in Italy: from Moro to Berlusconi, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 6:3, 348-370 (Croci, 2001) Fiori, G. (1995) Il venditore, Garzanti, Milan Habermas, J. (2006), Between Facts and Norms, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, section 8.3, pp. 358-387 Helms, L. (2012), Democratic Political Leadership in the New Media Age: A Farewell to Excellence?. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations. Holtz-Bacha, C. (2004) Germany: How the private life of politicians got into the media. Parliamentary Affairs 57(1): 41–52.

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 40! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Langer, A. I. (2007) A historical exploration of the personalisation of politics in the print media: The British Prime Ministers (1945-1999). Parliamentary Affairs, 60 . pp. 371-387. Langer, A. I. (2010) The Politicization of Private Persona: Exceptional Leaders or the New Rule? The Case of the UK and the Blair Effect. International Journal of Press/Politics, 15 (1). pp. 60-76 Lewis, A. (2009): From Alpine clubs to Baggio and Berlusconi: Italy reflected through sport, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 14:1, 96-103 Maarek, P. J. (2011). Political Marketing: a global approach. In P. J. Maarek, Campaign Communication & Political Marketing (pp. 33-71). London: Wiley-Blackwell. Mazzoleni, G. (1996) â&#x20AC;&#x17E;Patterns and Effects of Recent Changes in Electoral Campaigning in Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x;,in David Swanson and Paolo Mancini (eds) Politics, Media, and Modern Democracy: An International Study of Innovations in Electoral Campaigning and Their Consequences. Westport, CT: Praeger. Pp.174-193 Mazzoleni, G. (2004) With the Media, Without the Media. Reasons and Implications of the Electoral Success of Silvio Berlusconi in 2001. Mazzoleni, G. & Schulz, W. (1999): "Mediatization" of Politics: A Challenge for Democracy? In: Political. Communication 16: 3, 247-261. McChesney, R.W. (2004) The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the 21st Century, Monthly Review Press, New York Poli, E. (1998): Silvio Berlusconi and the myth of the creative entrepreneur, Modern Italy, 3:2, 271279 Porro, N. & Russo, P. (2000) Berlusconi and other matters: the era of 'Football-politics', Journal of modern Italian studies - 2000 / III

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 41! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Rahat G and Sheafer T (2007) The personalization(s) of politics: Israel, 1949–2003. Political Communication 41(1): 65–80. Roncarolo, F. (2005): Campaigning and governing: an analysis of Berlusconi's rhetorical leadership, Modern Italy, 10:1, 75-93 Schuck, A. R. T., Azrout, R., Boomgaarden. H. G., Elenbaas, M., van Spanje, J., Vliegenthart, R., & de Vreese, C. H. (2011). Media visibility and framing of the European Parliamentary Elections 2009: A media content analysis in 27 countries. In M. Maier, J. Strömbäck & L. L. Kaid (Eds.), Campaigning in Europe: Strategies, Effects, and Media Coverage in Parliamentary Elections (pp. 175-196). Farnham: Ashgate Publishers.) Stayner. J, (2007), Modern Political Communication, Cambridge: Polity Press. Strömbäck, J. & Nord, L. (2006). "Do Politicians Lead the Tango? A Study of the Relationship Between Swedish Journalists and their Political Sources in the Context of Election Campaigns". European Journal of Communication vol.21(2), 147-164. Strömbäck, J., 2008, Four Phases of Mediatization: An Analysis of the Mediatization of Politics. International Journal of Press/Politics, 13, 228-246. Turano, G. (2012). Fuorigioco. (C. lettere, Ed.) Seggiano di Pioltello: Rotolito Lombarda SpA. van Aelst, P. , Sheafer, T. & Stanyer, J. (2012). The Personalization of Mediated Political Communication: A Review of Concepts, Operationalizations and Key Findings. Journalism, 13(2), 203-220. Websites Audipress. (2011, 03 14). Ultime News. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from Audipress: indagine sulla lettura dei quotidiani e dei periodici in Italia: http://www.audipress.it/news.asp

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 42! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Berlusconi, S. (2004). Silvio Berlusconi - Il Governo vincente come il Milan [2004]. Retrieved 05 10, 2012, from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5alQ8Kx-CY Corriere della Sera. (1994, 06 30). Auditel: 24 milioni davanti alla tv . Retrieved 01 1, 2012, from Corriere della Sera: http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/1994/giugno/30/auditel_milioni_davanti_alla_Battuto_co_0_94063 014059.shtml Corriere della Sera. (2006, 07 10). Italia- Francia, in 28 milioni davanti alla tv. Retrieved 01 10, 2012, from Corriere della Sera: http://www.corriere.it/Speciali/Extra/2006/Germania2006/diario/Auditelfinale.shtml Kington, T. (2009, 10 04). "Berlusconi firm ordered to pay €750m to rival in bribery case". Retrieved 04 10, 2012, from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/04/silvioberlusconi-fininvest-cir-damages Goal.com. (2010, 11 30). Berlusconi ripete per la millesima volta che Bernabeu ha vinto la metà di lui, ma c'è chi gli fa due conti: "Guarda che il madridista ha vinto un titolo in più...". Retrieved 05 10, 2012, from Goal: http://www.goal.com/it/news/2/serie-a/2011/11/30/2781265/berlusconi-ripeteper-la-millesima-volta-che-bernabeu-ha La Gazzetta dello sport ( 2006, 07 10). Mondiali 2006. Retrived 01, 10, 2012 from http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Mondiale_2006/ Interviews Turano, G. (2012, 05 08). Berlusconi: politics and football. (F. De Rosa, Interviewer) Cerruti, A. (2012, 05 28). Berlusconi: politics and football. (F. De Rosa, Interviewer)

!


!

Personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape: 43! Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics.

Articles Schianchi, A. (2010, 08 28). Quei colpi di mercato che aiutano la politica. La Gazzetta dello Sport . La Gazzetta dello Sport. (2011, 05 19). «Il Milan resterà mio e avrà un fuoriclasse» 1. La Gazzetta dello Sport. (2011, 04 04). Berlusconi: «Barbara è da Milan Balotelli invece no Leo, mi dispiace...» . Pasotto, M. (2011, 03 01). « Nord contro Sud? No, Berlusconi è uno showman». La Gazzetta dello Sport . Passotto, M. (2011, 04 14). «Qui troppe tasse» Berlusconi, primi conti per Cristiano. La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Other sources Forza Italia. (2001). Una Storia Italiana. Milan: Mondadori Printing. Demos & Pi. (2011). Berlusconi rating approval 2008-2011. Rome: La Repubblica CIRCAP Archive (2011). Berlusconi governamental rating approval 2008-2011. Siena: University of Siena.

#

!

Berlusconi's hybridization of football and politics  

About the personalization of politics in the Italian media landscape. Fabrizio De Rosa, Master’s Programme Communication Science, Graduate S...

Advertisement