Dear readers, today we begin a work that will take us, after the summer, to a relaunched il manifesto, focused on its calling to both interpret the world and change it as it does so.
We have a lot of precious resources to commit to making an ever better newspaper, with an ever greater ability to investigate the social changes behind the daily news, even greater desire to discover new stories and examine old ones in a new light, greater ability to be clear without being reductive and without averting complexities, more curiosity towards political and cultural movements, and a complete lack of respect for inherited and status-related privileges – a newspaper with more courage to listen to the ideas of others and bring forward its own. One that is always on the side of those who are wronged. Of all the wrongs to be righted – peace first and foremost, the critique of capitalism, the fight against environmental devastation, anti-fascism – which, as the facts have shown, are the only good causes to rally behind against a trajectory that now threatens the survival of humankind.
We need a newspaper that can best fulfill its number one function, an ancient one but which comes with new and pressing urgency today: to create a shared environment for political discussion and action. An environment that we have a duty to build every day, with news and analysis that can’t be found elsewhere, with the ability to wage cultural battles, the creativity to never fall into predictability, with ideas that are considered blasphemy elsewhere, unmasking axioms and supposed unquestionable truths that are nothing but cages serving the oppression of the weak by the strong. This is the field of action of our side, the plural left, the whole left, for which we want il manifesto to serve as an indispensable tool.
We need a newspaper that always has a point of view, without which, as Luigi Pintor wrote 50 years ago, it would be “nothing more than a sausage of long-winded articles and a meat grinder of information.” We need a newspaper that brings new readers closer, thanks to digital subscriptions and our website, where we have been publishing all our content for years without asking for your data in return, but also the paper edition, which we are refusing to give up through all difficulties and transformations.
The precious resources that we will fully commit to this mission are, first of all, our independence: the fact that we are without an owner is an almost unique case in Europe, and where we find such a model elsewhere it’s because il manifesto has set the standard; then, the talent and expertise of our editorial staff and our valuable collaborators, the extraordinary history that this newspaper has behind it and that lives on in our archives, and the support of our readers.
Our riches are not measured in financial terms – which is also why the paper belongs to you, the readers, as much as to us who are making it and are its proud owners. In order to live on, it needs the daily support of those who have known us for a long time and those who have only recently discovered us but are already unwilling to do without il manifesto. And it is able to live on thanks to public funding, something we freely own with our heads held high – because “pluralism nourishes the democratic life and freedom of Italians, and it is certainly the duty of the Republic to support publishing initiatives that have such features,” as President Mattarella reiterated a few days ago.
These are our goals. To do our best to achieve them, we need to involve not only the editorial staff, but also the community of contributors, readers and supporters of this original form of politics that is our newspaper. And we also need your patience: the novelties will come in time, after the summer. But we can already say, like in il manifesto’s first ever op-ed, that “at the end of the day, we rely on nothing but collective work, and militant passion.” We have so much to discuss on this topic – it will be tough, but there’s no other way to keep alive a direction for common action.
For a journalist, there’s no better place anywhere in the world than il manifesto, which I joined 22 years ago. This is why I am enormously grateful to the members of the cooperative who have entrusted me with the task of leading it. I will do this together with Micaela Bongi and Chiara Cruciati, who have accepted my proposal to become deputy editors-in-chief.
I would like to thank Norma Rangeri, who, among her countless merits, has guided us through the painful transition from the old to the new cooperative, and who – as she has made clear – will continue without fail to contribute her voice to this community. I would also like to thank Tommaso Di Francesco, who, as he has always done throughout his very long commitment to il manifesto, will continue to engage in dialogue from our pages with friends of the newspaper, contributors, readers, ensuring transparency and openness in the work we’re going to do to plan the relaunch.
We would like to present the results of this work at a large gathering after the summer. Above all, I would like to thank the readers and ask them to stand by us, as they’ve done, and more. We need that courage to which Luciana Castellina has called us all back: “the courage to invent a new world.”