Borderless Nationalism: Italy’s RAI Transnational Brand

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Communication for Social Change book series (PSCSC)


On a typical weekday, Italian (and Italian-speaking) television viewers outside Italy are presented with a series of programs mostly selected from the Italian public broadcaster RAI’s national schedule. In the morning, the schedule features Unomattina, a daily talk show created in 1986 and compounding a bizarre collection of celebrity news, beauty tips, shopping suggestions, news, sports updates, and weather forecasts. Lasting approximately three hours, Unomattina was created as a localized version of the US show Good Morning America and has been a staple program at RAI for the past 30 years. At noon, RAI marks the traditional Italian lunchtime, which used to be spent at home sharing a meal with family, with the popular cooking show La prova del cuoco. Based on the BBC format Ready, Steady, Cook, this show was launched in 2000 as a co-production of RAI and the Dutch multiplatform entertainment company Endemol. This live program features a competition between two teams who are tasked with the preparation of a three-course meal in 90 minutes. In recent years, the team competition has expanded to include elements of the traditional rivalry among Italian regions in a section called ‘La sfida del campanile’ (‘The bell tower/hometown contest’), which pits chefs from different regions against one another as advocates of their respective local culinary traditions.


Public Service National Identity Soft Power Game Show Public Service Broadcasting 
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© Michela Ardizzoni 2016

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