09 March 2007

Italian Newspapers

Il Giornale

The newspapers here in Italy are different than those in the United States in a couple distinct ways. First of all there does not appear to be any type of home delivery system, you go to l’edicola to buy the paper from a vendor who sells various papers as well as magazines and usually some books and postcards. These vendors may be set-up in a small shop or a kiosk in a piazza or along the street.

The majority are distributed on a national basis with added regional content, for example here in Ascoli le edicole carry as many as 10 different papers. The big names are La Repubblica, Il Messagero, Il Resto del Carlino and Il Corriere della Sera. Each of these publications is associated with a certain political ideology and party.

There are no advertising inserts in the newspapers. I recall when I did door to door delivery as a teenager and always dreaded the mid-week and Sunday inserts as they would usually double the size and weight of the papers I had to carry. Here there is no marked difference in the size of the paper from one day to the next and there are no inserts for IKEA or Euronics.

One item I do miss from the US papers is the comics; there is no comic page and definitely no Sunday comic section. The use of editorial cartoons is also much more limited. This is unfortunate as I think both of these would be a help to me in learning the language.

For those who skip the sports section of a US paper you would have to overlook almost half of an Italian paper. I usually count as many as 15 pages of sports and of these 13 or 14 are usually just calcio, or soccer. They may be a couple stories on racing (cars, motorcycles, horses or bicycles) and some on the Italian and European basketball leagues. I will rarely see any articles on American sports and the few I have seem focused on Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers.

If you really want sports there are three daily newspapers here that are devoted solely to sports: Corriere dello Sport, Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport. These are always easy to spot as they are printed on a paper that is almost pink. Obviously Italian men are secure with their masculinity and do not shun the color.

In many cities you are able to get USA Today or The International Herald Tribune but these are not regularly available here in Ascoli, a result of the limited international tourism that we see. The bars here do have two or three copies of the newspaper out each morning to browse while getting your morning caffeine fix. We prefer either the Courrier del Adriatico or Il Corriere della Sera as they tend to have more on Ascoli and the Marche Region.

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