ÖZP 1998/2 S.173-184
BERLUSCONI AND PRODI - THESIS AND ANTI-THESIS OF MEDIATED POLITICS?
The article analyses the political development in Italy during the 1990s, which exhibits different forms of politics in the media age: In 1994, the media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi received international attention as he was elected prime minister only 100 days after he had entered the political arena. He used the infrastructure of his media empire for an unprecedented TV-centered election campaign and for the foundation of his party, Forza Italia. With his three TV companies and detailled public opinion research he achieved his political goals. However, his immediate rise was followed by a deep fall only a few months later. In the elections of 1996, an awkward professor of economics won over the media professional. Romano Prodi now presides over a goverment including the PDS, the successor party of the former communist party, which had been regarded as "permanent opposition party" in the past. In his election campaign, Prodi travelled through the country by bus in order to "re-materialise" the character of politics. The bus became the symbol of direct communication with the people. Mediated politics has, nevertheless, not vanished in the "TV nation" Italy, Prodi just managed to show another form of it.