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Coronavirus: Vatican newspaper suspends printing

Vatican daily paper stops printing paper edition for only third time since 1861.

The Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has suspended printing due to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency, reports Reuters news agency.

The temporary stop is only the third time in its almost 160-year history that the newspaper has ceased printing, with the evening edition on 25 March the last for the time being.

The paper will continue publishing online, and most of its 60 employees, including 20 journalists, will work from home, editor Andrea Monda told Reuters.

Despite a print run of 5,000, the newspaper is influential in reflecting Vatican opinion in international affairs and Church matters, and is read by many ambassadors in Rome.

Monda told Reuters that the newspaper will attempt to boost its online readership until it is able to print again.

However in the meantime the paper will continue to print 10 copies, destined for Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, several for top Vatican officials and the rest for the historic archive purposes.

"We had to stop primarily because both the printers and the distributors could not guarantee their services in safe conditions because of the lockdown in Italy and the Vatican," Monda told Reuters.

When did L'Osservatore Romano stop printing before?

Founded in 1861, the newspaper continued to print during the Nazi occupation of Rome during world war two.

The first time it ceased printing, according to Reuters, was on 20 September 1870 when troops fighting for Italian unification conquered Rome and brought an end to the Papal States.

The other occasion was a period in 1919 due to labour unrest and other difficulties in Italy after world war one, Monda told Reuters.

What newspapers does Pope Francis read?

Pope Francis told reporters last year that he reads only two newspapers: L'Osservatore Romano - which he jokingly referred to as the "party paper" - and Rome's daily newspaper Il Messaggero.

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Coronavirus: Vatican newspaper suspends printing

00120, Vatican City

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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