Keywords: National press; public opinion; industry; literacy and readership; political and media context
In the middle of XIX century, a 'national' public opinion first appeared in Piemonte where the press promoted the Italian unity. This article review the role of unitary newspapers edited in the Northern larger cities and in Rome, the capital city, their relations with political parties and government and the start and development of a newspaper industry, national for company and readership size. Subsequent developments through the crisis of the liberal state, the fascism and the Italian democratic and constitutional republic are also considered. A particular attention is paid to the linguistic aspects of the press in a context where dialects were spoken by the huge majority of people and where primary school teaching has been for very few untill the 1950'. Latest trends and changes in the communication industry as well as the press role in the new media context are finally considered.