The crisis of the traditional model of parties, the personalisation of politics and ‘strong’ governments have all been ongoing processes in Italy for more than twenty years. The search for consensus and the use of propaganda have been going hand in hand with these transformations, adjusting to the changes in the world of mass media. Which is the role - and what are the responsibilities - of political journalism then? Do reporters from the palaces of power and journalists close to the ins and outs of governments all play the classic role of the Fourth Estate, or are they becoming mere mouthpieces? What about intellectuals? They were remarkably active during the Berlusconi era: are they still playing a major role in the cultural scenario for civic society, or have they adapted to conformism?