la Repubblica (Italian: [la reˈpubblika]; the Republic) is an Italian daily general-interest newspaper. It was founded in 1976 in Rome by Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso (now known as GEDI Gruppo Editoriale) and led by Eugenio Scalfari, Carlo Caracciolo and Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Born as a radical leftist newspaper, it has since moderated to a milder centre-left political stance.
Front page, 7 November 2007
|Type||National daily newspaper|
|Owner(s)||GEDI Gruppo Editoriale|
|Founded||14 January 1976|
|Political alignment||Social democracy|
|Circulation||301,565 (May 2014)|
The publisher Carlo Caracciolo and Mondadori had invested 2.3 billion lire (half each) and a break-even point was calculated at 150,000 copies. Scalfari invited a few trusted colleagues: Gianni Rocca, then Giorgio Bocca, Sandro Viola, Mario Pirani, Miriam Mafai, Barbara Spinelli, Natalia Aspesi and Giuseppe Turani. The cartoons were the prerogative of Giorgio Forattini until 1999.
The newspaper first went on sale on 14 January 1976. It was presented as the first Italian tabloid with some sections such as sports and business intentionally left out. When it was founded, it was intended to be a "second newspaper", with only major news at the national level, to an audience that has already read a local newspaper. It was composed of 20 pages and was published from Tuesday to Sunday. The paper defined itself as a “giornale-partito” (meaning "newspaper-party") in its initial stage.
During the first two years, it built up a core-audience identified as members of the centre-left and the Italian Communist Party (PCI). In 1977, Scalfari decided to cater to the university student movement, so la Repubblica began its expansion. The strength of the newspaper lay particularly in the editorial comments section, which was always incisive and thought-provoking. In the meantime, Giampaolo Pansa from Corriere della Sera became Deputy Director, alongside Rocca and Pirani.
In early 1978, average sales amounted to 114,000 copies. During the 55 days of the Moro kidnapping, la Repubblica backed the policy of hardline non-negotiation while reporting on the pro-negotiation approach led by Bettino Craxi of the Italian Socialist Party (or PSI). The paper's stance proved popular and, by the end of the year, daily sales reached 140,000 copies. In 1979, with an average print run of 180,000 copies, it achieved a break-even point. The size of the newspaper increased with page count growing from 20 to 24. The newspaper decided to cover sports for the first time and veteran reporter Gianni Brera was added.
In 1981, the Corriere della Sera was hit by a scandal when chief editor Franco Di Bella was outed as a member of the secret masonic lodge Propaganda Due, or P2. This allowed La Repubblica to win extra readers and recruit a number of prestigious commentators such as Enzo Biagi and Alberto Ronchey from Corriere. Aiming to gain top circulation in Italy, chief editor Scalfari launched new reader-friendly initiatives. There were now 40 pages, including news sections, entertainment and sport. The newspaper was pitched as an "omnibus newspaper" (a paper catering to all types of readers).
Politically, while the paper kept backing the progressive left, its approach to governmental parties changed: its traditional opposition to Bettino Craxi's line was coupled with overtures to Ciriaco De Mita, one of the leading figures of the left wing of the Christian Democrats. This seemed to pay off as in 1985 la Repubblica sold an average of 372,940 copies, about 150,000 more than in 1981.
1986 marked the newspaper's tenth birthday. A special issue was released in celebration, Ten years 1976/1985 consisting of 10 files in coated paper, one per each year, with the re-issuing of many original articles. The launch was backed by a successful advertising campaign featuring a young university student seen purchasing la Repubblica. Ten years later, the same student is pictured as an adult. He's holding the same newspaper, but in the meantime he's worked his way up to an important managerial position in a large company. The same year saw the launch of weekly financial supplement, Affari & finanza, edited by Giuseppe Turani. la Repubblica continued the game of catch up with Corriere della Sera and on (December 1986,) they actually managed to overtake their rivals.
In 1987, la Repubblica launched a prize competition called Portfolio, a type of stock market-based lottery. Readers were encouraged to buy the newspaper daily in order to check share value. The prize turned out to cost more than the supplements earned, the latter increasing sales for one or two days a week only. la Repubblica expanded by almost 200,000 copies within three months, stretching to a total daily average of nearly 700,000 . At that point, "la Repubblica became the best-selling Italian newspaper.
The Corriere della Sera hit back with a free Saturday magazine and la Repubblica reciprocated with their own magazine, Venerdì, launched on 16 October 1987, the same day as Affari & Finanza. The via Solferino publishing group did not reclaim the top spot for two years.
"Segrate War" (Guerra di Segrate)
At the end of the 1980s, believing that a stronger financial support was needed for the growth of the group, Carlo Caracciolo and Eugenio Scalfari (main shareholders of the Espresso group) sold all their shares to Carlo De Benedetti.
Already a major shareholder of Mondadori, Benedetti took the Espresso group together with the Milan publisher, with the goal of becoming the main shareholder, buying the stock of Arnoldo Mondadori’s heirs. Silvio Berlusconi prevented it, starting the so called “Segrate War” (from the town of Segrate near Milan where the Mondadori main office is located). In 1991, after more than two years of legal and financial battles, the struggle was ended by the entrepreneur Giuseppe Ciarrapico on behalf of the prime minister of the time, Giulio Andreotti, who persuaded De Benedetti and Berlusconi to split the “Grande Mondadori”. De Benedetti received la Repubblica, L’Espresso and some local newspapers; Berlusconi received Mondadori minus the newspapers. The controversial operation was the main point of a lawsuit in which Berlusconi was charged with corruption of legal proceedings. This lawsuit became famous as the "Lodo Mondadori" (the Mondadori Decision). A verdict on 3 October 2009 by the Causa Civile (Civil Court of Milan) pronounced that Berlusconi’s Fininvest had to compensate the Carlo de Benedetti's CIR €750 million for financial losses due to "perdita di chance" (lost opportunities) from the Lodo Mondadori decision.
In the following years, new publishing projects were added. La Repubblica, which up to then was not published on Monday, bought Lunedì di Repubblica for 50 million lire. This was a satirical magazine, and first "real fake" newspaper, published by Vincenzo Sparagna, author of Frigidaire. The launch occurred on 10 January 1994: in this period the newspaper has an average circulation of 660,000 copies. 1995, besides being the year of the introduction of the supplements Musica! Rock & altro and Salute, was the year of a graphical change as colour was introduced on the first page and in advertisements.
On May 1996, after twenty years Eugenio Scalfari resigned as Editor in Chief, but remained an important contributor to the newspaper. He was succeeded by Ezio Mauro. The same year, the weekly women's supplement “D” (Donne) was launched.
la Repubblica after Scalfari
On 5 April 1996 the paper launched its website as a collaborative effort with Digital and Interbusiness (a unit of Telecom Italia), as an on-line trial version of the newspaper, created for the election of 21 April.
In August 1996, Mauro began a project Repubblica - lavori in corso (Repubblica - work in progress), with the objective of testing an on-line edition. The project was coordinated by Vittorio Zambardino, Gualtiero Pierce and Ernesto Assante, with technical direction by Alessandro Canepa.
On 14 January 1997 the online version of the newspaper Repubblica.it was launched. It became the main Italian information website with over 10.6 million users in October 2007. In 2010 it was the tenth most visited website in the country being ahead of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, YouTube and MSN.
In 2004, through a gradual process, the newspaper introduced colour in every page. This decision forced the whole Italian newspaper market to adopt similar measures.
The newspaper used to be regarded as on the moderate left wing of the political spectrum, with a very critical line towards the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, especially criticizing his conflict of interest as both entrepreneur and politician. In August 2009, Berlusconi sued the newspaper after it published ten questions addressed to him (which he refused to answer).
On 20 November 2007, the newspaper revealed wiretapping transcripts between certain RAI and Mediaset directors, aimed at modifying some parts of the TV scheduling of 2005 (regarding the death of the Pope and the regional elections of 2005).
Supplements and features
- La Domenica di Repubblica: Started in November 2004 and published every Sunday, it is composed of 20 pages dedicated to current events, show business, lifestyle and leisure. La Domenica di Repubblica was inspired by Sunday editions of the main British newspapers.
- L'Almanacco dei libri: Published since 2004 every Saturday with 8 pages of reviews and charts of book sales.
- Il Venerdì: Weekly magazine.
- Diario di Repubblica: Twice-weekly (Tuesday and Friday) of 4 pages with insights into important topics of the day by analyzing one key word. At the end of the year, the pages of the "Diary" are collected and published in a bound book sold with the newspaper.
- Album di Repubblica: special feature of the journal.
- D – La repubblica delle Donne: Weekly magazine primarily aimed at women, which can be downloaded free of charge from its website.
- Velvet Monthly magazine devoted to fashion since November 2006.
- xL Monthly magazine aimed at the youth market since August 2005.
- Metropoli: Weekly feature on multi-cultural Italy.
- Viaggi: Weekly feature devoted to travel.
- RSalute: Weekly feature devoted to health issues.
- Il Lavoro, formerly a Genoese socialist newspaper, nowadays a feature published only in the local Ligurian edition.
The newspaper has also published The New York Times International Weekly on Mondays since 2004. This English language supplement features articles selected from The New York Times and can be downloaded free of charge from La Repubblica's website.
Current editorial staff
- Natalia Aspesi
- Emanuela Audisio
- Corrado Augias
- Edmondo Berselli
- Giorgio Bocca
- Tito Boeri
- Attilio Bolzoni
- Carlo Bonini
- Mario Calabresi
- Filippo Ceccarelli
- Pietro Citati
- Pino Corrias
- Gianni Clerici
- Leonardo Coen
- Franco Cordero
- Maurizio Crosetti
- Giuseppe D'Avanzo
- Concita De Gregorio
- Ilvo Diamanti
- Khaled Fouad Allam
- Massimo Giannini
- Renzo Guolo
- Alessandra Longo
- Gad Lerner
- Miriam Mafai
- Curzio Maltese
- Daniele Mastrogiacomo
- Francesco Merlo
- Sebastiano Messina
- Gianni Mura
- Joaquín Navarro-Valls
- Marino Niola
- Piero Ottone
- Alessandro Penati
- Mario Perniola
- Carlo Petrini
- Mario Pirani
- Franco Quadri
- Adriano Prosperi
- Federico Rampini
- Guido Rampoldi
- Massimo Riva
- Stefano Rodotà
- Gabriele Romagnoli
- Paolo Rumiz
- Roberto Saviano
- Eugenio Scalfari
- Aldo Schiavone
- Michele Serra
- Adriano Sofri
- Luigi Spaventa
- Alberto Statera
- Marco Travaglio
- Giuseppe Turani
- Nadia Urbinati
- Giovanni Valentini
- Bernardo Valli
- Sandro Viola
- Vittorio Zucconi
Previous editorial staff
- Francesco Tullio Altan
- Massimo Bucchi
- Giorgio Forattini (until 1999)
|Year||Average daily copies sold|
Source Ads – Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa
- "La Storia siamo noi - \'\'la Repubblica\'\". La Storia siamo noi (in Italian). 2006.
- Rachel Donadio (3 May 2009). "Italy Premier's Drama Unfolds in Press". The New York Times.
I’d like to close the curtain on our married life,' Veronica Lario, 52, told La Repubblica, the center-left daily despised by Mr. Berlusconi
- John Hooper (16 February 2011). "Silvio Berlusconi says he's not worried about standing trial". The Guardian. London.
- Mark Gilbert; Robert K. Nilsson (19 September 2007). Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. Scarecrow Press. p. 356. ISBN 978-0-8108-6428-3. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- David Broder (6 October 2015). "Resurrecting the Italian Left". Jacobin Mag. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Lapo Filistrucchi (February 2006). "The Impact of Internet on the Market for Daily Newspapers in Italy" (PDF). EUI Working Paper. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- Eugénie Saitta (April 2006). "The Transformations of Traditional Mass Media Involvement in the Political and Electoral Process" (Conference Paper). Nicosia, Cyprus: ECPR. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- Peter Humphreys (1996). Mass Media and Media Policy in Western Europe. Manchester University Press. p. 90. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- Lodo Mondadori (Civil Court of Milan)
- "Adnkronos". www1.adnkronos.com.
- The Espresso Editorial Group at first sued Sparagna for plagiarism, but lost when the court acknowledged Lunedì di Repubblica as an "original masthead".
- Report of Nielsen Netratings October 2007
- Gianpietro Mazzoleni; Giulio Vigevani (10 August 2011). "Mapping Digital Media: Italy" (Report). Open Society Foundation. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- Massimo Razzi (April 24, 2008). "Repubblica, history with a click Online the free archive since 1984". repubblica.it (in Italian).
- Alexander Stille (31 July 2007). The Sack of Rome: Media + Money + Celebrity = Power = Silvio Berlusconi. Penguin Group US. p. 308. ISBN 978-1-101-20168-8. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "Berlusconi fa causa a repubblica". La stampa. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- Consulto Del Noce-Rossella sulle elezioni. Dati brutti, Cattaneo ora tenta di ritardarli La Repubblica
- "la Repubblica+ - Il tuo quotidiano in digitale -". la Repubblica+ - Il tuo quotidiano in digitale.
- "Dcasa - D - la Repubblica". d.repubblica.it.
- "Repubblica » The New York Times di Repubblica". www.repubblica.it.
- Data from Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa