Eighty percent of Italian party newspapers gone bust

ROME - Eighty percent of Italy’s party newspapers funded by the state have failed. According to Openpolis, who used data provided by the Presidency of the Council, since 2003, the state has paid over €230 million to the 19 party newspapers. Only 20 percent have survived. 

 Despite roaring political differences, each of these newspapers, from the Communist Liberazione to the right-wing party Northern League’s La Padania. had one thing in common: they were funded by the public, and have now been discontinued. Perhaps most shockingly, Antonio Gramsci’s l’Unità closed for the third time this year, somewhat replaced by the Democratic Party’s newspaper launched on June 30 this year. Not only have Italy lost part of its’ identity and journalism, but also over €60 million, which was clearly not enough for the newspaper to succeed. The same goes for La Padania (over €38 million), Europa (€32.5 million), and 16 more.

 Gone are the days of repayments of over €124 million per year (1994-2013), from 2014 onwards, the papers had to turn to private donations to keep them going. In the same year, party newspapers received 4.2 million euros, that went to Europa, La Padania, Secolo d’Italia and l’Unità. The latter received the most substantial contribution (€1.9 million), followed by La Padania.(€1.2 million).

 La Padania, who was assigned more than €38 million by the public. From the early years (€3, 900, 000 in 2008), to the last (€1, 300, 000  in 2013), public contributions have fallen. Liberazione, the voice of the Italian Communist Refoundation Party, granted more than €32 milion, was also closed on March 19, 2014. "The newspaper's deficit is likely to suffocate the party, which does not have the money to fill in the budget holes," said secretary at the time Paolo Ferrero. A dozen or so more newspapers have had to close including Secolo d’Italia, Notizie Verdi, and Cronache Di Liberal which have been forced to close.