Popular Italian TV news reader quits in protest at Berlusconi bias on state TV

One of Italy’s top news readers has dramatically quit her job on state-funded television after claiming its coverage was biased in favour of the media mogul and premier, Silvio Berlusconi. Maria Luisa Busi, who presented the flagship evening TG1 news show on the Rai 1 channel, reportedly told bosses what she thought of the programme’s editorial line in a frank letter pinned to a notice board. Her abrupt departure at the weekend follows a series of clashes with TG1 editor Augusto Minzolini, who was hand-picked for the job by Mr Berlusconi. TG1’s editorial committee expressed unease “about the direction Augusto Minzolini has made TG1 take”. The veteran journalist and Rai president, Paolo Garimberti, added: “Maria Luisa Busi’s decision is another worrying signal of a situation that requires maximum attention from the company’s top management.” In addition to controlling three of Italy’s seven terrestrial TV channels as part of his Mediaset empire, Mr Berlusconi, as prime minister, exercises considerable influence on senior appointments at the state-owned, rival broadcaster, Rai. And it was to address what he felt was left-wing bias that Mr Berlusconi pushed for Mr Minzolini’s appointment last year. Since then, accusations of pro-government bias against Mr Minzolini have emerged

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tv-news-reader-quits-in-protest-at-berlusconi-1981964.html

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