''At this moment,'' Pier Luigi Malesani, the recently elected secretary general of the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM), told ANSAmed, ''I see two possible risks. The first is a scenario in which television, as happened in the eastern part of Europe after the fall of communism, takes a commercial course, with an unavoidable impact on its content. The second risk is the possibility of privatising public television, which also has its consequences." Malesani, who participated in the conference 'New Voices' in Tunisia on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, does not hide the fact that television, in the complex period the Mediterranean area and North Africa and the Middle East in particular are going through, is facing many risks. One of these risks is television being taken over by large investors, which would then have much to say about the content that is broadcast.
COPEAM, considering its profile and the members it represents (a total of 130 in 23 different countries, with a well-represented public sector), has conquered a ''political'' role. To some extent, the organisation already expected which issues would form the basis of the protests that have led to the end of regimes and dictators. Malesani, who was director of Euronews before he was asked to head COPEAM, said that ''as early as 2005 the Seville Charter asked for respect for the role of information to guarantee the growth of democracy." But the complexity of the current situation, torn between a drive for reforms and resistance from the establishment, requires COPEAM to increase its ''political'' role, which is basically a role of promoting media independence and defending the role of the media, making it part of the fabric of the Mediterranean society. ''The problems we are faced with,'' Pier Luigi Malesani continued, ''are serious and very complex. We should not forget that each country has its own culture, its own history. All of these deserve attention and respect, but proposals or projects are often obstructed. This is why I have a pragmatic approach, trying to deal with one case at a time, making them a starting points for more general cases,'' thanks to the ''strong team COPEAM represents."(ANSAmed).