INTERNATIONAL: MEDIUM OF THE MONTH - The business title Il Sole 24 Ore is Italy’s version of the FT. David Lane investigates its popularity

Often described as Italy’s Financial Times, the business daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, literally ’The Sun 24 Hours’, partly fits the label. Its pink paper makes Il Sole stand out on Italian newsstands. The shocking pink La Gazetta dello Sport, targeting sports-mad Italians interested in soccer rather than securities, competes on colour. Competition for followers of business, finance and economics comes from a shockingly yellow Italia Oggi, although this is not much of a threat as the daily prints only a fraction of Il Sole’s half-million copies.

Often described as Italy’s Financial Times, the business daily

newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, literally ’The Sun 24 Hours’, partly fits the

label. Its pink paper makes Il Sole stand out on Italian newsstands. The

shocking pink La Gazetta dello Sport, targeting sports-mad Italians

interested in soccer rather than securities, competes on colour.

Competition for followers of business, finance and economics comes from

a shockingly yellow Italia Oggi, although this is not much of a threat

as the daily prints only a fraction of Il Sole’s half-million

copies.



The newspaper’s roots come from a combination of the original edition

called simply Il Sole, founded in 1865, and the much younger Il

Commercio-24 Ore, launched in 1946. Both newspapers were acquired by

Confindustria, the industrialists’ association, at the beginning of the

60s. Combined daily sales stood at around 50,000 when Confindustria

decided to merge them in 1965. Il Sole 24 Ore has made enormous

progress, with almost continuous growth: only one year has seen sales

fail to increase since the merger.



What is the secret? Several factors have moved sales steadily

upwards.



Public interest in the stock market, particularly in the 80s and during

the past 18 months, has helped. So too has the quality of coverage from

its 190 staff journalists, not only of business and finance but also

politics.



International coverage is a strength: Il Sole has two staffers in

London, the same number as the FT has in Italy. It is the only Italian

newspaper with its own staff outpost in Tokyo. Printing in seven Italian

cities puts Il Sole on newsstands across the country early in the

morning.



But the key factor is probably the role that Il Sole plays in

disseminating details of new laws, regulations and public tenders. The

newspaper says that it publishes information quicker than the official

gazette. As such it is obligatory reading for village clerks and

administration departments even in smaller companies, and this explains

why there are currently about 170,000 subscription sales.



On the other hand, pages of bills, laws, regulations and tender notices

make for a less than exciting appearance, even when the pages are

pink.



Il Sole 24 Ore

Circulation                                 368,000

Subscriptions                               170,000

Ad Rates: mono 42 x 43mm (recruitment)   L1,100,000

Ad Rates: mono 42 x 43mm (financial)     L1,790,000

Cover price                                  L1,700

Source: ADS



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