Home » Fieg: here is the most serious and worrying publishing crisis

Fieg: here is the most serious and worrying publishing crisis

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Fieg: here is the most serious and worrying publishing crisis

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The publishing sector is gasping. And instead of having the necessary hand from the Government “the publishing companies are waiting for interventions that are slow in arriving”.

The note with which Fieg returns to ask the Government – one would think following discussions that have not gone in the right direction – for support in order not to be swallowed up by the quicksand of the crisis that is hitting the newspaper and magazine industry is harsh. periodicals which, however, is still to be considered in its essence as a “strategic for democracy” safeguard. The paradox, underlines the president of the Federation of Newspaper Publishers, Andrea Riffeser Monti, is that «huge funding is maintained for sectors that are not strategic for democracy, as is the press. And this, while the stability of the sector already raises particular concerns in the aftermath of a budget law that cut resources to the sector”.

The Extraordinary Fund cancelled

The reference to the Extraordinary Fund for interventions to support publishing is clear, canceled with the stroke of a pen together with its endowment of 140 million. These, in fact, were the Fund’s resources for 2023, which had also increased compared to the 90 million in 2022 made available to publishers in the previous legislature. A gift designed with the aim of encouraging technological innovation and digital transition which translated, in a nutshell, into a contribution of 5 cents (later increased to 10) to publishing companies for each copy sold; aid for newsstands; help for hiring in editorial offices and support for investments in digital (also valid for radio and TV).

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But it’s not just this. «In the first months of 2024 – adds Riffeser – the advertising turnover of the press suffered a decline of 13.7% and, after the decision to eliminate the obligation to publish newspaper tender notices, the legal advertising of newspapers decreased by 53.6 percent.” A blow, that of the elimination of the obligation to publish notices in newspapers, which the sector has tried to avoid in every way by reporting the repercussions on the accounts, but also on the transparency of the information to be guaranteed on these issues.

Hence the choice to address “a serious invitation to the government and all political forces, so that they are cohesive in their desire to combat bad information, guaranteeing quality information, which is even more fundamental in a period of electoral confrontation”. To this end, concluded Riffeser Monti, «it is essential and urgent to adequately increase the resources to support the sector, so as to encourage the technological investments necessary in a period in which artificial intelligence risks being a very high-speed train that could compromise the pluralism of information if it remained the prerogative of those who have incalculable resources outside our national borders”.

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