Il manifesto was founded April 28, 1971. But since February this year Italy’s not-for-profit independent communist daily has been on life support after state subsidies were cut.
They haven’t given up. Since February, it launched a massive campaign it called “without end”.
Hundreds of meetings, events and debates have been organised across the country. Many old and new readers, friends and supporters, including the likes of writer Don De Lillo and Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman, have rallied around the paper.
And it has had success – sales have increased by 15% in a publishing world where sales have falled by 2.9%. They have been averaging over 16,000 copies on newsstands and in March this was close to 19,000. And the paper has secured 250 new individual subscriptions. Including the web and former subscribers, circulation is close to what it calls a ‘psychological threshold’ of 20,000 copies.
Despite all this, the paper, owned by its journalists, has been discussing with trade unions and the welfare and development ministry redundancy packages for 40 out of the 70 editorial staff.
From February everything published in il manifesto, its supplements, on its website and associated social networks, has been written, typeset and produced for free by staff and collaborators
‘It’s clear to everyone that without a budget or certainties, without a rudder or collective horizon, even the most hardened of ships cannot travel forever,’ writes one of the paper’s senior editors Matteo Bartocci.
‘The crisis of il manifesto is either permanent or constituent….Today we celebrate with you the New Year of a new story. How long this will be is in the hands of those who love these pages, of those who browse and write them.’
Check out Is it arrivederci for il manifesto?