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The Ticino people have lost a voice

Who knows what Monsignor Aurelio Bacciarini will think from Heaven, who sees his "Giornale del Popolo", still today the only Catholic newspaper in the whole of Switzerland, cease publication. And Giuseppe Lepori, Aurelio Gabelli and Alfredo Leber, the young people in their early twenties to whom the Bishop had entrusted the beginnings of the newspaper on 21 December 1926, will also share his regret. Especially Leber, who directed it for fifty years, modernizing its printing machinery and bringing it closer to the reality of the people by opening regional offices.

The painful decision to definitively close the newspaper, which the bishop of Lugano, Monsignor Valerio Lazzeri, was forced to make, is merely the epilogue of a difficult situation, especially economic, which had been dragging on for some years, despite Bishop Corecco at the at the end of the eighties had tried to modernize the editorial line by bringing it closer to those of the Second Vatican Council and Pope Wojtyla, and in the first decade of the new millennium Bishop Grampa had worked to forcefully counteract the financial crisis, also with the inclusion of the Giornale del Popolo in the Corriere del Ticino group, which acquires 49%. The coup de grâce, as the diocese of Lugano states on its website, comes as a result of "the vicissitudes of Publicitas AG - in Liquidation - Opfikon, recently made known by the media, the situation that has arisen for the Giornale del Popolo, supported for a significant part by the advertising revenues collected by the same and which have now disappeared". 

Nowadays everywhere, not only in Ticino, the printed paper is in a bit of a crisis due to the new interactive multimedia technologies, but one can ask why, out of a Ticino Catholic population estimated at 240.000 souls, there were only seven thousand subscribers.

It should be noted with pleasure that Monsignor Lazzeri wanted to help those who have lost their jobs due to the crisis in the journalistic field with the foundation of the "Association of Solidarity journalists and media workers", to support them in their professional integration and grant additional aid of a financial nature. By raising funds, also by raising public awareness, and organizing any initiative that may be useful, distribution will then be made in accordance with trade union laws, focusing above all in favor of the former employees of the Giornale del Popolo.

But for the Christian, every difficulty is also an opening to hope and re-planning, aware that "by night or by day the [good] seed germinates and grows" (Mk 4,27:XNUMX). There is a vast field of other possible means that the diocese of Lugano can use to reach the people with evangelization, and others will certainly be suggested by the imagination of the Holy Spirit to those who know how to humbly listen.

What Don Guanella wrote for the press applies to communication in general: “The press forms opinion, and behind opinion runs the world of men. The press is the universal engine. Oh, why do the good people still not believe in the effectiveness [71] of the good press? “(The mountain man, op. omnia III 1023). 

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