12121 - History of the Radio and the Television (M-Z)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will:
- know the fundamentals of the history of Italian radio and television from fascism to the present day;
- know how to integrate the history of media and programs within the Italian social and cultural history;
- connect the Italian history of radio and television with the general development of media abroad;
- know how to analyse a television program and its production processes.

Course contents

This course is divided into two parts. The first part of the lectures will deal with the birth of radio and television in Italy and the most significant stages of this process, focusing on some of the most important moments for determining the current structure of the two media, to provide students with an articulated frame of the Italian radio-television panorama. The story of the two media will be accompanied by notions about mass communications (audience, public service broadcasting, social effects of media) and comparisons with the American and European system. The second part of the course will focus on television series, scheduling, formats and reality and factual programming, analysing several significant case studies.


Students are required to prepare the following bibliography:
- Irene Piazzoni, Storia delle televisioni in Italia. Dagli esordi alla web tv, Carocci, Roma 2014.
- Tiziano Bonini (ed.), La radio in Italia. Storia, mercati, formati, pubblici, tecnologie, Carocci, Roma 2013 [only pages 1-210]. 
- Veronica Innocenti, Guglielmo Pescatore, Le nuove forme della serialità televisiva. Storia, linguaggio e temi, Archetipolibri, Bologna 2008.
- Luca Barra, Palinsesto. Storia e tecnica della programmazione televisiva, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015.

Teaching methods

Lectures with slides, audio-visual material, digital resources, materials shared with the students. This course will also host meetings with professionals in the radio and television industry.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a written examination to assess whether students have acquired the knowledge of the fundamentals of the history of radio and television. No oral examination is scheduled.

For non-attending students, the written examination will consist of 11 closed-ended multi-choice questions concerning the history of the two media (1 point each), and 4 open questions on the texts of the bibliography (up to 5 points each).

For attending students, there will be two tests: one during the course with 31 multiple choice questions on the history of radio and television, and a date reserved to them at the end of the course with 6 open questions on the topics of the lectures and the texts of the bibliography, following the instructions given during the course.

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, and the ability to connect the history of media with the social and cultural context. It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the discipline. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the history of media. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the subject.

To take the examination, students shall register in the list by AlmaEsami service. Non-enrolled students will be excluded from the test. The exam will be held in well-equipped computer classrooms: to rationalise their use, if students registered decide not to sit the examination, they are required to cancel their name from the exam list. Students are also required to sit the examination with their UniBo credentials and a recognition document.

Students who have included this course in study programs of previous academic years are invited to contact the teacher to agree the test methods.

Teaching tools

Presentations, projection of audio-visual materials (shows, documentaries), use of clips and archive material via YouTube, Teche Rai and other digital platforms, links and resources available online, meetings with professionals in the broadcasting industry.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Barra