la Repubblica

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la Repubblica
File:La repubblica frontpage 2007 11 07.jpg
Front page, 7 November 2007
Type National daily newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner(s) Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso
Editor Ezio Mauro
Founded 14 January 1976
Political alignment Centre-left
Cultural liberalism
Language Italian
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Circulation 301,565 (May 2014)
ISSN 0390-1076

la Repubblica (Italian pronunciation: [la reˈpubblika]; English: the Republic) is an Italian daily general-interest newspaper. 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 a radical/socialist newspaper,[1] it has since moderated to a centre-left political stance.[2][3]



la Repubblica was founded by Eugenio Scalfari,[4] also director of the weekly magazine L'Espresso, in January 1976.[5][6]

The publisher Carlo Caracciolo and Mondadori had invested 2.3 billion lire (half each, approximately €1.3 million) 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.

Early life

The newspaper was debuted 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.[6]

During the first two years, it built up a core-audience identified as members of the centre-left and the Italian Communist Party. 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 was altered: 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[5]. This 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 (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 [7]. At that point, "la Repubblica became the best-selling Italian newspaper.

The 1988 circulation of the paper was 730,000 copies, making it the most read newspaper in Italy.[7] At the end of the 1980s the paper reached a circulation of 800,000 copies.[4]

The Corriere della Sera hit back with a free Saturday magazine and la Repubblica reciprocated with their own magazine, Venerdì,[4] 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 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) 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.[8][9]

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.[10] 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 was launched.[5] It became the main Italian information website with over 10.6 million users in October 2007.[11] In 2010 it was the tenth most visited website in the country being ahead of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, YouTube and MSN.[12]


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.

On 19 October 2007, the newspaper's graphics and layout were renovated. La Repubblica split in two newspapers: one dedicated to the news and the other (Called “R2”) to analysis of current events.

Current position

The newspaper is regarded as on the moderate left wing of the political spectrum, although it has never failed to criticise politicians or parties with similar views. This includes, among other things, the so-called "moral problem" of Italian politics (first mentioned by Italian politician Enrico Berlinguer) and the fragmentation of left-wing political forces.

The newspaper has always had a quite critical line towards the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi,[13] especially criticizing his conflict of interest as both entrepreneur and politician. In August 2009, Berlusconi sued the newspaper[14] after it published ten questions addressed to him (which he refused to answer). Most of these questions were in some way concerned with Berlusconi's "escort scandal".

La Repubblica is also known for its stand against the Catholic Church, often criticizing it, especially on ethical topics and its interference in these issues, which were vehemently denounced by Scalfari.

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).[15]

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.[16]
    • DCasa: weekly supplement devoted to housing issues, which can be downloaded free of charge from its website.[17]
  • 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 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.[18]

Current editorial staff



Previous editorial Staff



Year Average daily copies sold
2014 301,565[19]
2013 323,469
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

See also


  1. "La Storia siamo noi - \'\'la Repubblica\'\". La Storia siamo noi (in Italian). 2006.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 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<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. John Hooper (16 February 2011). "Silvio Berlusconi says he's not worried about standing trial". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lapo Filistrucchi (February 2006). "The Impact of Internet on the Market for Daily Newspapers in Italy" (PDF). EUI Working Paper. Retrieved 9 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Peter Humphreys (1996). Mass Media and Media Policy in Western Europe. Manchester University Press. p. 90. Retrieved 29 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Lodo Mondadori (Civil Court of Milan)
  9. Sentenza lodo Mondadori, dalla Fininvest 750 mln di euro di risarcimento alla Cir. IGN 3 October 2009
  10. The Espresso Editorial Group at first sued Sparagna for plagiarism, but lost when the court acknowledged Lunedì di Repubblica as an "original masthead".
  11. Report of Nielsen Netratings October 2007
  12. Gianpietro Mazzoleni; Giulio Vigevani (10 August 2011). "Mapping Digital Media: Italy" (Report). Open Society Foundation. Retrieved 24 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Berlusconi fa causa a repubblica". La stampa. Retrieved 28 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Consulto Del Noce-Rossella sulle elezioni. Dati brutti, Cattaneo ora tenta di ritardarli La Repubblica
  16. Periodici
  17. Dcasa
  18. The New York Times di Repubblica
  19. Data from Accertamenti Diffusione Stampa