USC Annenberg Online Journalism ReviewUSC





Italy
Online News in Europe
Intro: The View From Europe
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"In Italy, the 'new economy crisis' has arrived a little later than in the US, but it has arrived just as painfully," says journalism scholar Andreina Mandelli, professor of communication and new media marketing at SDA Bocconi Business School in Milan. "The crisis has made it difficult for online news media to raise capital until they show a profitable business model."

The general attitude is, 'waiting if not disinvesting.'

Responding to that imperative, and to ward off cannibalization, Italy's most important news site, La Repubblica, took an unusual step in February: It now charges non-subscribers access to the print content that it republishes online, while leaving its original Web content free for now.

"While online media in the US are reacting to the crisis by cutting staff, closing some content access and experimenting with new forms of content and advertising, here the situation seems more frozen and the attitude more passive," Mandelli says. "The only area of investment activity seems to be in the mobile news area, perhaps because mobile users have shown a willingness to pay for content."

Mandelli agrees with Deuze's analysis of the different cultural traditions in online journalism between northern and southern Europe. But she also says the longtime tradition of Italian media being dominated by free-wheeling, creative publishers is giving way to more business-oriented managers, and that the current climate is a somber one. "The general attitude is, 'waiting if not disinvesting,'" she says.

Noteworthy sites:

La Repubblica (newspaper)
Il Sole 24 Ore (newspaper)
Italia OnLine (news portal)
Tiscali (portal)
Yahoo! Italia Notizie (news portal)

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