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Linkiesta: a new protagonist in Italy's growing online-only news world

Linkiesta: a new protagonist in Italy's growing online-only news world

Just a few months after the launch of Lettera43, the Italian online-only news panorama welcomes a new arrival. Linkiesta.it, the new Italian digital newspaper, went online today in beta. In spring 2011 it will be replaced by a definitive version, along with an iPad app.

Interestingly, the launch was promoted through daily updates on Linkiesta's Facebook page and by a video.

The news of the launch was also reported by other newspapers, blogs and media commentators.
The paper will focus on investigation as well as partecipatory and on demand journalism.

The Società Editoriale Linkiesta, the news publisher, is a start-up comprising journalists and businessmen. It is a public company with about 70 shareholders who have put in an investment between €10,000 and €50,000. The governance rules state that nobody can own more than 5% of the capital stock. "In order to provide transparency, a full list of shareholders is published on the website", the newspaper announced.

"Many shareholders and no bosses" declared the editor in chief Jacopo Tondelli in a video interview published on IlSole24Ore. "As we are a public company, nobody can exert individual influence on the editorial line", he added.

Press ownership is a controversial topic in Italy: many owners have their main economic interests in other sectors than the news industry and there are fears that newspapers risk becoming mere tools to exert pressure.

Regarding the underlying business model, during the beta months the website will be free while, with the definitive version, it will implement a "freemium" model, relying on both advertising and subscriptions. There will be discounts for categories including young people, teachers and people working within universities and research centres.

The newsroom, made up of 13 journalists and a network of contributors, is headed by Jacopo Tondelli, 32, the editor in chief, former Corriere della Sera, and Jacopo Barigazzi, specialized in financial news, contributor to Newsweek. Newsrooms are based both in Milan and Rome.

"Can exist a newspaper without the paper?" wondered the first editorial this morning. "A newspaper which makes profit, pays salaries, provides the same quality printed newspapers have provided for decades?"

In the US the crisis the press is facing was discussed even at a congressional level, while in Italy the future of online news was snubbed, the article says, arguing: "we should discuss this because printed newspapers are in deep waters". In Italy the press has lost 32% of its circulation from 2000 to today. And looking at the press as the pillar of democracy - the leader continued - we should not count within the figures sport newspapers as La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport, which actually make a heavy contribution to the circulation average. Advertising is also not looking promising: the article quoted the Carlo Lombardi Institute which said to this end that from 2000 to 2009 the average price for an advertising space halved from € 42,29 to € 21,05.

Where will online-only newspapers fit into this?

During the launch morning the website had some problems and went down for a little due to an "excess need for news", as Luca De Biase commented.

An encouraging start?

Sources: IlSole24Ore blog, La Stampa, Linkiesta.it (1), (2), Youtube, Blog De Biase@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }a:link, span.MsoHyperlink { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: purple; text-decoration: underline; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }



Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini


2011-01-31 16:57

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