Fattorello 2.0


The main aim of this paper is to illustrate Francesco Fattorello's theory (the "Social Technique of Information" written in the '50s) in order to provide scholars in the Communication field with a model of communication that is an appropriate answer to the needs of today's democratic societies. Despite the fact that Fattorello had been a member of the founding group of the International Association of Media and Communication Research IAMCR/AIERI in Paris, 1957, today his work is not known at an international level, especially in the Anglo-Saxon academia. This is due to the fact that when Fattorello’s theory was developed, it was not taken into consideration because of the dominance of the Frankfurt School theorizations that individualized in mass communication a process that determined people's behaviors. Sixty years ago it was not easy for scholars and those employed in industry to accept Fattorello's idea of an audience who had equal dignity to the promoting subject, because s/he had the same thinking abilities. Instead of accepting the idea that the media industry enterprises imposed values, behaviors and patterns that served to maintain domination, Fattorello focused on audiences as active participants, as the pivot of the process of communication. We will see that the diagrammatic formula in which Fattorello's model is expressed looks very similar to something with which we are very familiar; that is the Web communication paradigm. Fattorello's model, which is significantly different than some of the current mainstream theoretical approaches to media and communication, is compared to dominant mass communication models (from the earliest models to contemporary dominant paradigms) to further enrich the debate. Finally, we believe that Fattorello's model can shed light on other models of mass communication.

theory of communication; mass communication; online communication
Author biographies

Francesca Romana Seganti

Author photo Francesca Romana Seganti obtained her MA in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Rome La Sapienza. In 2003 she won a scholarship and went to the London Metropolitan University, UK. There she obtained her PhD in 2007 with a dissertation concerning the role of an online community in the lives of Italian migrants in London. She then worked as Post-Doc Research Fellow at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. Since 2007 she is teaching assistant at Istituto Fattorello of Rome. She currently works as adjunct assistant professor of Communications at the American University of Rome.

Giuseppe Ragnetti

Author photoGiuseppe Ragnetti has gathered the cultural inheritance of Francesco Fattorello and continues his work, deepening his study of the original theory of the Social Technique of Information, which he teaches in a variety of contexts. He is the President of the Istituto ‘Francesco Fattorello’, Rome, which operates the Scuola Superiore di Metodologia dell’Informazione e Tecniche della Comunicazione (Superior School of Information Methodology and Communication Techniques). He is a lecturer on the Science of Communications degree and on the specialist degree in Media and Journalism at the Università degli Studi ‘Carlo Bo’ at Urbino.

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