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LaRepubblica logo.png
La repubblica frontpage 2007 11 07.jpg

Front page, 2007-11-07
Type National daily newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso
Editor Ezio Mauro
Founded January 14, 1976
Political alignment Progressivism
Language Italian
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Circulation 587,268 (2005) [1]
Official website www.repubblica.it
Il Venerdì.

la Repubblica (meaning: "the Republic") is, as of 2008, the second largest circulation[2] Italian daily general-interest newspaper, behind the Corriere della Sera. It was founded in 1976 in Rome by Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso - led by Eugenio Scalfari and Carlo Caracciolo - and Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Born as Radical/Socialist newspaper[3], it has since kept a centre-left political stance.[4]

It was one of the first Italian newspapers to use Bodoni serif typefaces.[3]

Contents

History

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Foundation

la Repubblica was founded by Eugenio Scalfari, also director of the weekly magazine L'Espresso. The publisher Carlo Caracciolo and Mondadori had invested 2.3 billion liras (half each) and an even balance was calculated at 150,000 copies. Scalfari invited along a few trusted colleagues: Gianni Rocca, chief central, 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.

Early life

The newspaper was published for the first time January 14, 1976. It was presented to the public audience as the first italian Tabloid, with some sections, such as sports and business, intentionally left aside. 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 the facts of the day on another newspaper. It was composed of 20 pages and was published from Tuesday to Sunday.

During the first two years it built up a core-audience identified between the centre-left and the Italian Communist Party PCI. In 1977 Scalfari cottoned on the novelty represented by the sprawling student movement, "Repubblica" picked up on it and began its expansion. The strength of the newspaper lay particularly in the comments section, which was always incisive and thought-provoking. In the meantime, to the group of editors was added Giampaolo Pansa, from Corriere della Sera, alongside Rocca and Pirani in the role of Deputy Director.

In early 1978, average sales amounted to 114,000 copies. During the 55 days of the Moro kidnapping the Repubblica backed the policy of hardline non-negotiation while reporting with much attention on the pro-negotiation approach led by Bettino Craxi of the Italian Socialist Party PSI. The paper's stance proved popular and, by the end of the year, the daily sales reached 140,000 copies. In 1979, with an average print run of 180,000 copies, it achieved a break-even budget. The size of the newspaper increased with total pages going up from 20 to 24. Also, the newspaper decided for the first time to cover sports and veteran reporter Gianni Brera was added to the roster.

In 1981 the Corriere della Sera was hit by a scandal when chief editor Franco Di Bella was outed as a member of secret masonic lodge P2. This allowed Repubblica to win extra readers and to recruit a number of prestigious commentators such as Enzo Biagi and Alberto Ronchey from the Corriere. On a quest to top circulation figures in Italy, chief editor Scalfari launched new reader-friendly initiatives. There were now 40 pages, including various news sections, entertainment and sport. The newspaper was now pitched as an "omnibus newspaper" (a paper catering for all types of readers).

Politically, while the paper kept backing the progressive left, its approach to governmental parties was altered: its traditional opposition to Bettino Craxi's line was coupled on the other hand with overtures to Ciriaco De Mita, one of the leading figures on the DC Left [5]. This also seemed to pay off as in 1985 "la Repubblica" sold an average of 372,940 copies, about 150,000 more than in 1981[6].

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 some occasions, (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 shares value. The prize turned out more lucrative than the supplements, the latter increasing sales for one or two days a week only. "la Repubblica", gained almost 200,000 copies within three months, stretching to a total daily average of nearly 700,000. [7]. At that point, "la Repubblica" became the best-selling Italian newspaper.

The Corriere della Sera hit back with a free Saturday magazine and in turn "la Repubblica" reciprocated with their own magazine, "Venerdì", launched on 16 October 1987, the same day as "Affari & Finanza". The via Solferino publishing group won't be able to reclaim the top spot for yet another two years.

"Segrate War"

At the end of the Eighties, 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) sell all their shares to Carlo De Benedetti.

Already a major shareholders of Mondadori, he takes the Espresso group together with the Milan publisher, with the goal of becoming main shareholder buying the stocks of Arnoldo Mondadori’s heirs. Silvio Berlusconi prevents it, starting the so called “Segrate War” (from the town close to Milan where is located the Mondadori main office). In 1991, after more than two years of legal and financial battles, the struggle is ended by the controversial entrepreneur Giuseppe Ciarrapico on behalf of the prime minister of the time, Giulio Andreotti, that persuaded De Benedetti and Berlusconi to split the “Grande Mondadori”. De Benedetti received “La Repubblica”, “L’Espresso” and the local newspapers, Berlusconi received the Mondadori without the newspapers. The controversial operation was the main point of a lawsuit that involved Berlusconi, charged of corruption of legal proceedings: this lawsuit became famous with the name of Lodo Mondadori. A sentence of the 03 October 2009 of The Civil Court of Milan pronounced that Berlusconi’s Fininvest must compensate the CIR of Carlo De Benedetti a total of 750 millions of euro for the property damage following the “loss chances” due to the impartial judgement involving the lodo Mondadori. [3] [4]

In the following years new publishing projects are added to the newspaper information offer. “La Repubblica”, that up to that day was never released on Monday, buys for 50 millions of lire the brand “Lunedì di Repuibblica”, satirical magazine and first true/false newspaper published by Vincenzo Sparagna, author of Frigidaire[5]. the launch occurred on the 10 January 1994: on 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”, is the year of the graphical revolution: colour is introduced on the first page and in the advertisements.

”La Repubblica” after Scalfari

On April 1996 the editor of the newspaper changes: Eugenio Scalfari leaves after twenty years the charge to the current editor Ezio Mauro (that sign the newspaper from the 6 May, but remaining an important contributor within the newspaper. In the same year is lunched the weekly feminine supplement “D”.

On 5 April 1996 is lunched the website 'http://www.repubblica.interbusiness.it [6], on-line trial version of the newspaper, lunched on the occasion of the political election of the following 21 April.

In August 1996 begins the experimentation “Repubblica lavori in corso” with the objective of testing the organization, the services and the editorial instruments for the realization of an on-line editorial unit. In this phase the project is coordinated by Vittorio Zambardino, Gualtiero Pierce and Ernesto Assante, the technical project is coordinated by Alessandro Canepa.

On the 14 January 1997 is lunched the on-line version of the newspaper Repubblica.it later become main Italian information website with over 10.6 millions unique users [7].

In 2004, through a gradual process, the newspaper introduces colour in every page. The decision shifts the whole market of Italian newspapers, pushing the competition to adopt counter measures. Quickly other main newspapers switch to colour pages too.

On 19 October 2007 the newspaper renovates again on the graphical and layout side. “ La Repubblica” splits in two newspapers: one dedicated to news and the other (Called “R2”) with examinations and investigations on main current events.

The newspaper could be regarded as close to the moderate left wing political side even if throughout the years has never saved criticism towards his political representatives and parties, involving either the moral problem and the fragmentation of the political forces.

The newspaper has always had a quite critical line towards Silvio Berlusconi, especially criticizing his conflict of interest as entrepreneur and politician. In the edition of August 2009 Berlusconi sued the newspaper[8] after the publication of ten questions addressed to him and which he refused to answer (most of these questions involved the escort scandal directly connected to him).

Besides, “La Repubblica” is characterized for the many stands towards the Catholic Church, often criticizing it, especially towards the ethical topics and the interferences, vehemently denounced by Scalfari, in the political life of the Country.

On the 20 November 2007, the newspaper reveal exclusively some telephone tapping between some RAI and Mediaset directors, aimed at modifying some parts of the scheduling of 2005 (death of the Pope and regional elections of 2005) [9].

Supplements and features

  • La Domenica di Repubblica: Started in November 2004 and published every Sunday, it is composed of 20 pages dedicated to the insights of current events, show business, lifestyle and free time. "La Domenica di Repubblica" is inspired by Sunday editions of the main British newspapers, enriched by numerous features on several topics.
  • L'Almanacco dei libri: Published since 2004 every Saturday with 8 pages of reviews and charts of books.
  • Il Venerdì: Weekly magazine.
  • Diario di Repubblica: Twice-weekly (Tuesday and Friday) of 4 pages inside the newspaper with insights into important topics of current times 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.[10]
    • DCasa: weekly supplement devoted to housing issues, which can be downloaded free of charge from its website.[11].
  • 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.
  • Salute: Weekly feature devoted to health issues.
  • Il Lavoro, formerly a Genoan socialist newspaper, nowadays a feature published only in the local Ligurian edition.

The newspaper also publishes a weekly English supplement in collaboration with The New York Times, which can be downloaded free of charge from its website.[12]

Current Editorial staff

Editors

Journalists

Previous Editorial Staff

Cartoonists

  • Francesco Tullio Altan
  • Massimo Bucchi
  • Ellekappa
  • Giorgio Forattini (until 1999)

Circulation

Year Average daily copies sold
2009 504.098
2008 518.907
2007 580.966
2006 588.275
2005 587.268
2004 586.419
2003 581.102
2002 579.269
2001 574.717
2000 566.811
1999 562.494
1998 562.857
1997 594.213
1996 575.447

Source Ads - Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa

Notes

  1. ^ Data for average number of paid-for copies (Totale pagata) from the Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa (Ads) survey on 2005 newspapers sales in Italy [1] (Excel file).
  2. ^ Data for average readers in 2006 from "Audipress"
  3. ^ a b "La Storia siamo noi - \'\'la Repubblica\'\'". La Storia siamo noi. Rai Edu. 2006.
  4. ^ "Italy Premier’s Drama Unfolds in Press". The New York Times. 2009-05-03. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/04/world/europe/04iht-italy.html. "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"  
  5. ^ The Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso, at first sued Sparagna for plagiarism, but lost the lawsuit because the court acknowledged the legitimacy of Lunedì di Repubblica as an "original headline".
  6. ^ Created in collaboration with Digital and Interbusiness (internal department of Telecom Italia at that time
  7. ^ Report of Nielsen Netratings October 2007.
  8. ^ "Berlusconi fa causa a repubblica". La stampa. http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cmsSezioni/politica/200908articoli/46749girata.asp. Retrieved 28-08-2009.  
  9. ^ http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2007/11/21/consulto-del-noce-rossella-sulle-elezioni-dati-brutti.html
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Dcasa
  12. ^ The New York Times di Repubblica

See also

External links


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