How local news in Italy is using News Showcase

Editor’s note: This is part of our ongoing series featuring local publishers from around the world using Google News Showcase, our new product and licensing program for publishers, showing  how we are supporting both their editorial and business goals. Read the first of our series, which comes from ADIRA in Argentina

When the other founders and I looked to launch Citynews in Italy 11 years ago, there wasn’t a huge supply of local news online. We knew we wanted to have more local news available for citizens all over the country, to cover everything from local government to politics, schools, transportation and health. These are the stories that make an impact on people’s day-to-day lives. So after we tried a few different iterations and models, we launched Citynews in 2010.  

Now, after just over a decade, our company is a local news leader in Italy, publishing 50 metropolitan online newspapers everywhere, from Milan to Florence to Rome, plus the national newspaper Our team of over 250 journalists produces news that reaches 32.6 million unique users monthly and theCitynews team produces more than 1,300 articles per day. That’s more than 50 stories an hour! 

To fuel our growth we took a data-driven approach to journalism, building our news stories on data from Google Analytics to identify topics that are of real interest to our readers. The data differs from city to city and our news article content adapts to that. Now we’re using Google News Showcase to further this growth and better engage our readers on both Google News and Discover.

One example of a story that touched the hearts and minds of everyone in the country was the birth of Tommaso, the first baby to be born at the Martini hospital in Turin when the maternity ward finally reopened after closing for COVID-19. This was a wonderful example of the kind of local story that resonates with a larger national audience, all of whom have gone through the difficulties of the past 18 months of the pandemic. Our local paper Torino Today covered the story and our editors produced it for Google News Showcase.