As those of you that follow me on twitter will know, I enjoy the daily ritual of perusing the local paper (in my case usually L'Arena of Verona), preferably accompanied by a suitable beverage, in keeping (of course) with the hour.
This week I delivered a lesson about the British print media to a group of Italian chartered accountants. As well as discussing British newspapers in general, we also dissected a copy of that august pillar of British journalism, the Daily Mail (in my defence, it was the only UK title I could get my hands on in Verona this week). Each student took an article and reported back to the rest of the group.
From beached whales, to ISIS death threats, bikini selfies as a means to weight loss and the feared extinction of an iconic species of banana, this lesson provided a somewhat perverse insight into the current state of the British media.
Of course Italian media isn't without it's faults (don't get me started on television), but, notwithstanding the merits of the Daily Mail, in terms of conveying a serious news agenda, Italian newspapers are far superior to their British counterparts, which seem to me to have descended into a tabloid style, sales driven, celebrity obsessed, race to the bottom.
One question that I wasn't quite able to answer at the time was how circulation figures for Italian newspapers compare to those of British titles. So I checked. The results, illustrated in the diagram below, are interesting.
Richard Hough writes about history, football, wine, whisky, culture + travel and is currently working on a trilogy about wartime Verona.