Propaganda and Information Serving the Italian Sports Movement: The Case of the Periodical Lo Sport Fascista (1928‒43)

  • Enrico Landoni eCampus University


Transformed from a mass rite into a real instrument of government, sports became the most effective and popular representation of the new aesthetic and pedagogy of fascist Italy by the end of the 1920s. At that time, the fascist regime, having completely reformed all major sports institutions, subjecting them to the National Fascist Party (PNF), realized the need to create a new periodical able to both emphasize the political value of sport for fascism and underline its popular attitude and mission. This in particular was the editorial mission of the monthly review Lo Sport Fascista, founded in the spring of 1928 under the auspices of the chairman of CONI, Lando Ferretti, and the secretary general of PNF, Augusto Turati. As an official organ of the Italian sports movement and mouthpiece of its achievements, the magazine deserves special focus for at least three reasons: it helped to make some disciplines, such as football and cycling, extraordinarily
popular in Italy, thus creating the conditions for their real exploit in the 1930s; it was able to combine propaganda and information in a truly original and unique way within the editorial offer of that time; and it fostered the myth of the great champions, turning sporting celebrities into ambassadors of fascism worldwide. The goal of this paper is to show in detail these features of the magazine, underlining its identity as a popular product, through a twofold analysis, one that is both aesthetic and political.