Accountability systems

Italian media accountability systems are weak. Oversight and accountability systems can only work if there is a shared framework of values and of respected procedures and routines - but this is not the case in in Italy. Each news outlet has its own niche audience, with their own expectations for the quality and substance of content. The inability of Ordine dei Giornalisti to establish a shared regime of ethics reinforces the system’s weaknesses. A good example of these limitations is demonstrated by the Betulla case. Betulla was the nickname of a journalist who was employed by a newspaper whilst working undercover for the Italian secret service. Once this conflict of interest was brought to light, Betulla was expelled by the Ordine dei Giornalisti. However, following opposition to this decision, he was reinstated as an external collaborator by another newspaper.