Televised murder revelation shocks Italy | Pakistan Today

Televised murder revelation shocks Italy

The shocking climax of a murder investigation during a live broadcast left Italians on Friday questioning the role of television in a country governed by media mogul Silvio Berlusconi.
There were angry reactions after 3.5 million people saw the mother of missing schoolgirl Sarah Scazzi being told on live television this week that her brother-in-law was being charged with the teenager’s murder.
“This is the last frontier of a culture that… has long given the media the right and the duty to probe everything, to enter everywhere and monitor our existence until the moment we expire,” Il Giornale daily said in an editorial.
As a video clip of the revelation made its rounds of the Internet after a two-month search for the 15-year-old that has dominated television news, viewers posted messages on blogs professing “profound shame.”
Commentators railed at the “amoral apathy” of such an “exhibitionist society.”
The mother, Concetta, was taking part in “Chi l’ha visto?,” a programme that investigates disappearances, when she was told for the first time that police were now searching for the body of her daughter, missing since August.
The stunned woman sat in paralysed silence for 11 minutes while the programme’s presenter read out reports from news agencies as they came in that pointed to the girl’s uncle as the probable killer.
The show saw a huge boost in ratings of up to 40 percent following the revelation, with the number of viewers rising to five million people.
Catholic newspaper Avvenire said the show “marked a truly dark moment for conscience and mercy.”
It said the family’s privacy had been betrayed for a “‘reality’ offered as food for morbid curiosity.”
Wednesday’s live murder revelation was only the latest in a long line of televised twists and turns of the search for the missing girl in an impoverished farming village in southeast Italy.
Members of Scazzi’s extended family appeared on an almost daily basis on daytime television, commenting on the latest leads in the inquiry and responding to the wildest rumours.
The alleged murderer himself, Michele Misseri, who lived in the same village as Scazzi, gave numerous interviews on television before his arrest to the dozens of journalists who have descended on the area in the past two months.
“We are all victims of the same machine. The machine of pain, which feeds on human stories,” La Stampa daily said in an editorial.
The mother in this case was “the true meat of the television slaughterhouse,” it added.
Il Sole 24 Ore said: “Tragedies should be respected, not put on stage. It’s not moralism, it’s conscious use of the medium at our disposition.”
Berlusconi’s media empire has been widely blamed for the popularity of trashy television programmes and reality shows since the 1990s.
But some commenters said it was Italians’ own fault for watching the stuff.
La Stampa commented: “They were so busy being indignant that they forgot to do the one thing that could have changed a system based on the lazy consensus of the population: switch off the television.”

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