For Stefano Feltri, Domani Is Today

, by Andrea Celauro
Ten years at Fatto Quotidiano, of which he was deputy director, the experience of ProMarket in Chicago and today the management of the new newspaper published by Carlo De Benedetti. On the day of the launch of the new adventure, the Bocconi alumnus tells his story.

"Well, if I redesigned Bocconi now I would pay more attention to the theory of economics, rather than to the management aspects, as I did at the time": so says Stefano Feltri, 36-year-old director of the new newspaper Domani, looking back on his university past in via Sarfatti . At Bocconi, Feltri graduated from the Bachelor in Business Administration and then, in 2009, a Master in Economics and Management of International Markets and New Technologies, before starting a journalistic career that from the Gazzetta di Parma led him first to the Fatto Quotidiano, where he spent ten years (of which the last five as deputy director), then at the management of the ProMarket economic site of the Stigler Center of the University of Chicago and, today, at the direction of the new editorial venture of Carlo De Benedetti.

What are your memories of Stefano Feltri at Bocconi?
Very good. In hindsight I would have cared much more about mathematics and econometrics, which I underestimated a bit at the time because I already wanted to be a journalist and thought I had to concentrate on other subjects. I have excellent memories, especially for the type of opportunity I had, for the interesting people I met and for the thousands of activities. And for the professors: one of these, Franco Bruni, will write for Domani. I remained very fond of Bocconi, with which I am still very connected.

What kind of student was he?
Bravo, but not great. The scanning of exams during the year helped me a lot, which was quite revolutionary at the time and allowed me to keep pace. I had a rather pragmatic approach to studying, favoring subjects such as economic history or international relations: only afterwards did I discover how interesting other aspects, more purely economic, were. If I rebuilt the university now, I would put greater emphasis on this aspect.

From 2009 to 2019, ten years at the Fatto Quotidiano. What did you draw from it?
It was a very important experience, in a newspaper that allowed me to do things that I could not have done elsewhere, to take care of important things both in economics and politics and to build from scratch a team of collaborators and journalists that has remained very united. And that made me realize how important it is to be independent, in the sense of depending on readers rather than on advertising investors or publishers who have special interests to defend.

In 2017 you interviewed, together with other colleagues, Syrian President Assad. Not just anyone could manage that.
The whole thing was very interesting, but clearly it was all very irregular: Assad wanted to present himself to the international community after the bombing of Aleppo and therefore had brought some European parliamentarians to see the situation in Syria. However, even in such propaganda trips, it is interesting to understand what they want you to see to understand their priorities. There was a very complicated procedure to get to Assad, you had to negotiate for days with the president's communication people. And being hyper-controlled situations, in these cases those who say they have been able to give space to creativity and talent, lie. No powerful man of that caliber puts himself in a position to make statements that he does not control.

In 2019, you flew to Chicago and began a double experience as director of ProMarket and as a student
I stayed a year and I would have continued if I hadn't had the proposal to run Domani. I worked for Luigi Zingales' Stigler Center and I took care of this site that aims to exist between academic research and the world of journalism. I went back to studying and enrolled in the MBA of the University of Chicago, which I will try to complete remotely. In that year, I dealt with things I never would have thought of, such as machine learning, and I delved into economics. All things that have been very useful for the launch of the new newspaper.

Let's talk about Domani. What sort of newspaper is it?
To read and not to browse, based on a very simple outline: facts, analyzes, ideas. With regard to ideas, the intent is to produce culture, not to comment on it, taking the example of newspapers such as the New Yorker.

In the editorial presenting the magazine, one of the first declarations of intent is attention to the environment. Why this choice?
Because it sums everything up a bit. The climate issue represents generational inequality and is a great economic policy challenge, because it brings the global governance of complex phenomena into play: the pandemic, for example, was a bit of a dress rehearsal of what it means to face an emergency like this . Furthermore, these themes are more akin to the interests of the new generations, a target that a newspaper called Domani must have.