The Newspaper Caste. Politicians and suchlike

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The Italians are somewhat bucking the trend. They read very little, but they nevertheless have an unending list of newspapers that are financed with their taxes. Why is this? Because of the endless choice that confuses the reader? Because of the information that serves the politician financiers’ purposes?


"The titles receiving direct funding, as at 2003, were 386, divided into eight categories, with the first three primarily concerned with the controversies surrounding the money being paid to “Political party newspapers”, would be “movements” and real and imaginary co-operatives.
CATEGORY ONE: thirteen «newspapers operated by political movements with their own representatives in Parliament or two Euro-Deputies amongst their members, and other newspapers operated by language minorities with representatives in Parliament ».
Top of the list is the “Unità”, which receives overall funding to the tune of 6,817,231.05 Euro. The newspaper of the former PCI, former PDS, and now DS, was joined by another two party newspapers from the same former PCI: the Rifondazione Comunista’s daily newspaper, “Liberazione”, which receives 3,718,490.08 Euro, and the Comunisti Italiani (PDCI) weekly, “Rinascita della Sinistra” (907,314.84).
The only party newspaper missing from the newsstands, and from the funding list, was that of Forza Italia, the leading party of the opposing front, the centre-right (except for the 563,604.85 assured by the “Liberal”, Ferdinando Adomato’s monthly publication). Two rather large chunks of funding were, however, paid to the Lega Nord party for their “La Padania” newspaper (4,028,363.80) and to Alleanza Nazionale for their “Secolo d’Italia”, belonging to Gianfranco Fini’s “Secolo d’Italia di Gianfranco Fini” (3,098,741.40).
As regards the area of the former DC, at the top of the list was “Democrazia è Libertà – La Margherita” with its daily “Europa” (3,138,526.10). But also with “La Discussione”, «the newspaper founded by Alcide de Gasperi», now an obscure Democrazia Cristiana daily for the Independents, which has nevertheless managed to obtain the princely sum of 2,582,284.49 Euro. While Democrazia Cristiana, published by “Balena Bianca piccola società Coop Giornalistica a r.l.”, has had to make do with an amount of 157,545.10.
About one million Euro of funding each would appear to have gone to the mouthpieces of two other political groupings, namely, 1,032,913.80 to the Sudtiroler Volkspartei for their publication Zukunft in Sudtirol, and another 1,020,390.93 to the Greens for the “Sole che ride” (The sun that smiles).
Completing the public funding list for category one of subsidised publications was the 602,024.10 paid to the weekly, “Avanti!”, belonging to Domenica (the socialists of the SDI) and the 297,146.28 paid to Le Peuple Valdôtain belonging to the Union Valdôtaine.
Thirteen publications are also to be found on the funding list for 2004, and indeed with increased funding, for a total of 26 million 694 thousand Euro. In the place of the “Sole che ride”, was a “new entry”, namely the “Socialista Lab”, for the Nuovo PSI, with 36 thousand Euro." Beppe Lopez, La Casta dei giornali, ed. Nuovi Equilibri

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