Prix Italia held as new controversial RAI president - Marcello Foa - appointed

This year’s 70th anniversary of the Prix Italia, the international competition for top quality radio, tv and internet programmes, organized by Italian state broadcaster RAI, is being held in the Mediterranean island of Capri.

It is taking place just as Marcello Foa, the new president of RAI was finally appointed, amid fears that his positions and past journalist practices including publishing fake news may jeopardize the broadcaster’s autonomy.

Foa is a controversial appointment. He is a known Eurosceptic pushed into his new role by the governing Italian coalition of the far-right League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) believed to have reached an agreement with Silvio Berlusconi to garner the votes for the nomination to go through. Foa also holds anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-vaccine and pro-Russia views. Foa has said his mandate is “professional” and not “political” and that he will guarantee pluralism but RAI’s journalist union has called for an in-depth assessment on Foa’s legitimacy.

Here is an article by fellow journalist Jason Horowitz published in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/world/europe/italy-journalist-rai.html

And here I am, on the night of the Prix Italia, with friend and colleague, NPR's correspondent Sylvia Poggioli