The Reuter’s Institute for the study of Journalism published the 2016 Digital News Report, revealing new insights about digital news consumption, based on a survey of over 500,000 online news consumers in 26 different countries. Results for Italy are somewhat peculiar: The media environment has a strong television sector, a weak and declining print sector and growing use of the internet. Alessio Cornia, Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism, writes: “Television viewing in Italy ranks among the highest in Europe and TV news bulletins remain the main source of information, not least because overall internet penetration is much lower than other developed countries.”
Moreover, the duopoly of Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI, Italy’s national public broadcasting company) and Mediaset (Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster) has always been a source for concern about pluralism of information in a country marked by strong TV viewership. In addition, online news is largely based on the advertising business model and the paid content is still marginal. Websites with the widest reach are those of the mainstream Italian newspapers and the main news agency ANSA. Revenues from this business are growing, but they are still representing a minor share of media company revenues.
So, where do Italian people search for news?
Reuters points out that 54% are searching for news on the search engines (mainly Google) and 39% use social media as a source for news, showing a strong increase since 2013. The questions are: Are Italians sure that social media is a trusty source for news? Are Italians skeptical about their main newspaper? Do they not consider it to be fully trustworthy? Are the two main operators mentioned above heavily shaped by politics?
There is a major challenge waiting for PR execs and it is not only to drive great communications, to tell great stories and ignite that spark in the client’s voice. There is also the challenge to build trust among your target, to build strong communities and “brand” ambassadors straight from your satisfied clients.
“The partisanship of Italian journalism combined with political and business influence on media organizations has led to relatively low levels of trust in the news. Trust in journalists is particularly low perhaps because the most-popular Italian journalists tend to clearly express their political positions within their analysis or during their participation in talk shows”, Cornia adds.
A comprehensive view (and full essay) on Italy can be found here: http://www.digitalnewsreport.org/survey/2016/italy-2016/
You can find interesting data on your country in the full Reuters report here: http://digitalnewsreport.org
Cristina Cobildi ist Mitgründerin unserer italienischen Partneragentur Encanto PR. Die Agentur mit Standorten in Mailand und Rom ist seit 1999 im Bereich business communications tätig und berät Kunden aus Chemie, Pharma, food, beverage, Fashion, Einrichtung, Technologie sowie Hersteller von Kinderprodukten und ist Mitglied des internationalen Agenturnetzwerks PRBI.
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