Italy's newspaper sales in 2012 plummet 22%, or by 1.15 million copies, since 2007, newspaper ad revenues down 14.3% year-over-year to €7.4B; government calls for rethink of incentives to support sector

Kendall Sinclair

Kendall Sinclair

Jun 5, 2013 – AFP World News

ROME , June 5, 2013 () – Italy's crisis-hit newspaper industry have sen sales plunge by over one fifth in the past five years and advertising revenues drop to 1991 levels, the Italian Federation of Newspapers said Wednesday.

"In five years, since 2007, daily newspaper sales shrank by 1.15 million copies, a drop of over 22 percent," the FIEG federation said in a report.

"The number of sales has been dropping since 2001, with the exception of 2006 which saw a feeble rise of 0.6 percent. The drop has been sharper since the economic crisis began in 2008," it said.

The federation said 2012 "was the worst year for the past 20 years in terms of advertising revenues" for the dailies, adding that they dropped 14.3 percent to 7.4 billion euros ($9.7 billion) on a 12-month comparison.

Weekly and monthly magazines had fared better than dailies but have also been hit by the crisis, it said.

FIEG head Giulio Anselmi called for a rethink of government incentives aimed at supporting the sector and warned of a need "to prevent the expansion of new media from threatening traditional outlets."

He said the newspaper sector was "an essential element of democratic life in the country and a strategic industry" which was suffering from "a serious crisis."

The report called for the adoption of a series of measures, from tax credits for businesses who advertise in the printed press, to vouchers for young people and the elderly to subscribe to newspapers.

ljm/ide/rl

(c) 2013 Agence France-Presse

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