Thursday, July 27, 2006
Urgent financial appeal by Il Manifesto
Italian left wing daily newspaper Il Manifesto is making an urgent appeal for funds.
Of course we are all used to left wing publications making financial appeals, but this occasion is different. Il Manifesto is an internationally important institution, and it is under threat of closure.
Il Manifesto has survived for more than 35 years as a workers’ co-operative, without the interference of a capitalist proprietor, and has consistently produced first class journalism.
Although originally supportive of the Communist Party, Il Manifesto has always been independent of party control, and in more recent years has supported the social movement, and Rifondazione Comunista.
It is a witty and innovative paper, combining investigative reporting with satire and cheeky disrespect for the rich and powerful. Nor does Il Manifesto rely on third hand reportage for international events: rivalling its pro-establishment competitors it has journalists around the world. One of its reporters, Giuliana Sgrena, was kidnapped in Iraq by insurgents in February 2005, but thankfully later released.
Il Manifesto is now in danger of closing, since February they have been struggling to pay their own salaries.
On the basis of an annual turnover of 17.5 million Euros, and a staff of 121, the Italian State subsidies cover 25% of costs. The rest of the paper’s income comes from sales. They sell an average 29000 copies of the paper every day, and have 5,892 subscriptions.
Il Manifesto has suffered because of loss of sales due to on-line publishing, and also a steep rise in costs – which rose by 11% in 2005.
Please send a contribution today with your credit card.
Let us ensues that Il Manifesto, and its experiment in defying the laws of the market, survives. The paper has played a vital role in Italy and internationally. It has supported the development of the Italian left away from sectarianism of the past, and towards the collaborative way of working of Rifondazione, and the social forums.