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Culture in the media by Giorgio Zanchini

Giorgio Zanchini was born in Rome on 30 January 1967. A journalist of Roman origin moved by a very strong passion for writing and in general for the enhancement of cultural environments, Giorgio Zanchini is a face, but above all a well-known voice to the public fond of the radio programs of the public broadcaster. This versatile and talented speaker is also a television host, journalist and established writer, so much so that he has earned a role of himself in his niche a role of increasing importance.

From a very young age he showed a remarkable passion for journalism: it is therefore not surprising that he dreamed of turning this love into a real career. After completing his high school studies, Giorgio Zanchini enrolled at La Sapienza University in Rome, where he initially obtained a degree in law.

Following this first important milestone, Giorgio returned to his original love, choosing to specialize in Journalism and Mass Communication at the well-established Free International University of Social Studies Guido Carli (LUISS) in the Rome section. As demonstrated by his professional achievements, from a young age Zanchini showed a remarkable determination which, combined with a pinch of resourcefulness, led him to follow his ambitions.

The ability to believe in himself, which was essential to break into the work environment, proved to be crucial to participate in a competition to work in RAI, which he successfully passed in 1996.
The stages of Giorgio Zanchini’s career in Rai are varied: first he spent many years at Radio 1’s Radio Rai newspaper, then in the period between 2010 and 2014 he moved to Radio 3 to return again to Radio 1 starting from 2015.

Among the most important programs he has conducted or in which he is the protagonist are the Millennium Bug, clearly inspired by the English expression Millennium bug, in vogue between 1999 and 2000 to describe technological fears related to the change of the millennium; as well as Radio anch’io, which he alternates in conducting for several seasons.

Another important program is Tutta la città ne parla, which sees him engaged until May 24, 2014.
After having made an important career in the radio world, Giorgio Zanchini’s skill was noticed by the managers of RAI, who chose him to replace Corrado Augias in the television program Quante Storie, broadcast on Rai 3.

The decision to entrust Zanchini with the conduction of this morning program starting from the 2019 season derives from the excellent performances he obtained during a talk show on spirituality, Il Cielo e la Terra, also aired on Rai 3, as well as a special broadcast on Rai 5.

In addition, over the years he has published several books: from Teledemocrazia – subjects or citizens, the first published in 1996, through Cultural Journalism, Infocult, Which Culture for Which Market and Under the Radiant Dominion of God.
His latest literary work “Culture in the media from print to digital fragmentation” (Carocci Editore 2024).

Over the past three decades, the media landscape and journalistic offerings have undergone radical changes. Cultural information has been part of these processes, the digital transformation has profoundly affected the forms and contents of the presence of culture in the media. The book describes the world of yesterday – with its delimited map, its hierarchies, its defined, controllable paths of information, mediated by journalists and critics – and today’s world – fragmented, horizontal, oriented by platforms and algorithms – returning a fresco that allows us to read continuities and fractures in the long arc that goes from the magazines of the seventeenth century to the third pages of the contemporary age, without neglecting influencers and book-tokers.

The word media, as Giorgio Zanchini explains well, now appears daily in our lives, whether it appears on the written page of a newspaper, sparkles on the screen of a website or emerges from radio and television. This is not surprising: it is precisely communication that has to do with it, considering that it is used to indicate the means of information (newspapers, television, internet), the notorious mass media.

The Eighties. A time without the Internet in which television is considered an innovative medium even though it has existed for thirty years to spread news or even “rumors”. The latter, according to the author, are a form of power beyond official channels and in his writing he sees their origins, diffusion, the reasons why voices are born, where they are born (home, media, offices, factories), what are the deep matrices and finally the possibility of defending oneself from voices through silence, the denial or a counter-voice.

It is a book of knowledge of the language through images and of the communication of the mass media, to understand the nature of the messages we receive and to place ourselves at a critical distance and develop our own judgment, so as to be able to accept or reject what is proposed to us so as not to suffer it passively.

Giorgio Zanchini reminds us of our responsibilities as users of the mass media and that he restores to us the dimension of dignity as citizens whose behavior can and must influence the media and not the other way around.

The author analyzes and reflects on the reality of mass communication in Italy, which has become less and less ethical and more and more tied to the laws of the advertising market, which flattens the information produced by the media from a cultural point of view. The illiteracy figures of the Italian adult population are disarming.

Television is often the relational channel with the world, the most followed information channel, but those who would have the tools for a critical vision keep it off, while it remains on in several rooms of the house for those who do not have such tools. Why doesn’t anyone care about protecting these people?

The advent of electronic media in the history of mankind has clearly brought about momentous changes in the behavior of individuals and masses, both in the personal sphere and at the general level. In fact, one of the most heated debates still today, as Zanchini points out regarding the question, concerns the positive or negative nature of these changes, often tending to agree with the second hypothesis.

What, fundamentally, the author asks, has been the great revolution of electronic media? That of having incredibly expanded our sense of place. Where, before the advent of radio and TV, our mental boundaries corresponded to material ones, our vision was extremely narrow, and the only solicitations came from the printed paper, which was reserved for an elite of people capable, through reading, of decoding them; Not to mention that the news could  It takes weeks, even months, to be brought to the attention of readers.

But the attentive reader will be able, on the basis of what has been said, to continue and expand the reasoning.

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