Trust is a key theme in the recent Reuters Digital News Report 2021. Italy, like the UK, experienced a small increase in public trust in the media this year (up 11 per cent points), but the number of people who say they trust the news still languishes around the 40 per cent mark. The main reasons for this are spelled out in the report: "the most trusted brands are generally those that are known for lower levels of political partisanship. Least trusted are outlets with a pronounced partisan bias."
Being free of political influence - a rare occurrence in the Italian media - was a driving force behind a startup aimed mainly at younger audiences. Will Media - referring to a willingness to change the state of play - launched in January 2020 with a mission to cover the biggest issues in a new light: think digital-first coverage of climate, diversity, innovation, and the north-south divide.
Editor-in-chief Francesco Zaffarano has a rich experience of working for legacy media; he previously held roles at The Economist and The Telegraph in the UK. He returned to his homeland in September 2020 to join a start-up trying to shake up a heavily politicised media landscape.
In this week's podcast, we discuss their newly reignited plans for a 20-stop tour of Italy supported by the European Parliament, which was postponed because of the pandemic. The initiative sees five reporters venture into regional towns to better understand how people from outside the big cities relate to the issues Will covers and burst its own big-city bubble.
Will Media on Instagram: the Will Meets tour
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