Eni Publishing - a beautiful energy story

Enrico Mattei was one of the first people to understand how mass media are central, and their role in modern society. Eni’s focus on informing about and telling the story of energy in Italy continues to this day, through unique publishing initiatives.

by Eni Staff
6 min read
by Eni Staff
6 min read

The story of energy begins: “Il Gatto selvatico”

In 1955, Mattei decided it was time to give Eni its own magazine. A proper magazine, not a corporate publication, which should base its credibility on its writers, starting from the Editor. And for this reason, the publishing project was entrusted to a great intellectual, writer and poet - Attilio Bertolucci - whom Mattei himself enlightened on the objective of creating a modern magazine, which could be read by anyone with interest, from the President of the Republic to Eni’s well drillers, and which shouldn’t just give an account of the company’s successes, but also be able to talk about the reality outside the company. The founder of the Six-Legged Dog welcomed Bertolucci’s advice to call the magazine “Il Gatto Selvatico”, i.e. “wildcat”, a slang used to define the first oil explorers. Over its ten years of publication,ending in 1965, “Il Gatto Selvatico” hosted great figures of the Italian literature and cultural scene: Giorgio Caproni, Alfonso Gatto, Filiberto Menna, Carlo Cassola, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Leonardo Sciascia, Raffaele La Capria, Enzo Siciliano and many others, called to talk about Italian and foreign literature.

Il Giorno: the role of the State in the economy

In those years, while Eni was creating its unique and inspired house organ, Mattei was still battling with the aftermath of the idealistic and political battle that had led him to successfully found the company. In particular, he had to deal with the ideological accusations of those who wanted to free the space taken by the powerhouse, in favour of private companies. Conscious of the need of a cultural and journalistic conversation, capable of speaking to present and future Italian ruling classes, Mattei was one of the protagonists of the foundation of Il Giorno newspaper, in 1956 in Milan, as one of the major shareholders. The newspaper - apart from its innovative graphic and publishing aspects - was a hotbed and a school for many young journalists of the time, and for generations to come. It was sold in 1997 to Poligrafici Editoriale S.p.A..

Agenzia AGI: economic information finds space in Italian magazines

Agenzia Italia, founded in 1950 in Rome, by journalist Giulio De Marzio and by attorney Walter Prosperetti, was sold to Eni - with which it already collaborated, due to its publishing choices aimed at giving space to Italian companies - in 1965. With the new Director, Elvezio Bianchi - already Italian General Manager of the American agency Upi - the AGI specialized in the economic information sector, and, with the purchase of the American Dow Jones economic channel in 1967, it drove Italian newspapers to update their pagination, with pages exclusively dedicated to economic-financial news. Ten years later, taking over Ap’s global service (then replaced by Reuters), the AGI provided a thorough service in Italy and abroad. This was complemented by the international services of the Soviet Tass (now Itar-Tass) and of the Spanish Efe.


"Ecos": the magazine of the 1970s

Founded in 1972 from an idea of the then Head of the Press Office, Gianni Rocca, under Raffaele Girotti's Direction, “Ecos” too saw the collaboration of great names of Italian literature. Among them, Primo Levi, Alberto Bevilacqua, Giorgio Saviane, Roberto Vacca, as well as famous illustrators and photographers, such as Carla Accardi, Giovanni Hajnal, Lucio Castagneri, Francesco Manzini, Emilio Tadini and Giovanni Tinelli. Inspired by the same philosophy as the “Gatto Selvatico”, its name was chosen because short and easy to remember, with “E” recalling Eni’s first letter and “energy”, as well as “economy” and “ecology”. 

Published in Italian and English, with an average of one hundred pages per issue, every two months, “Ecos” was distributed to the Group’s employees and to important politics, economics, culture and journalism personalities, free of charge, in Italy and abroad. A communication tool, speaking to Eni’s people and to the outside world through a unique language, an innovative solution for the times, aimed at describing the Group’s activities and connecting distant Countries. In its thirty years, hundreds of articles were published in the five continents, and translated in several languages. “Ecos” was the first corporate magazine in the West to publish and distribute special issues in Chinese in China, and versions in Kazakh and Cyrillic. The magazine closed in 2002, thirty years after its first issue.

From Oil to Orizzonti - the magazines of the new millennium

In May 2008, Eni published a new, ambitious editorial project, which was distributed also in the news-stands of big bookshops, and enclosed with newspapers and magazines on special occasions. The publication was called Oil Magazine, a quarterly periodical in tabloid format, born with the aim of featuring evaluations and high-level confrontations on the world of energy, environmental sustainability and development. The first issue, distributed to the Italian and international public in companies and scientific and academic institutions, featured an exclusive interview to the great Israeli writer Abraham Yehoshua. The magazine was guided by a publishing committee, coordinated by Lucia Annunziata.

After almost ten years, in 2017, the quarterly magazine changed its name and appearance, and became WE – World Energy. The exclusive reference to ‘Oil’ had become too narrow for Eni’s activities and for the horizons we are moving toward today. The massive archive - 230 interviews, 400 articles and 750 maps and infographics - is part of an heritage that makes up WE - World Energy’s deep roots.

In 2018, Eni’s carnet of paper publications was complemented by a new product, a monthly magazine called Orizzonti, entirely dedicated to Val d’Agri, in the Basilicata region, where Eni owns and manages the biggest onshore oil field in Western Europe.


And the “beautiful energy story” continues

Around the end of the 2010s, Italy too became aware that the future of global publishing would run on the web. After the boom that shook up American journalism, several online magazines were born in our Country too, and Eni took on the challenge. In July 2015, Eniday made its début - a digital magazine that, opening a new path to energy storytelling, talked about the changes and challenges that Eni undertook for a sustainable growth and a decarbonised energy demand.

In 2019, Eni.com was born, incorporating also “Eniday”, and featuring all our digital contents. A single ecosystem for all the information, stories and evaluations concerning our world.


Eni, the history of a company

Eni's evolution from its origins to today, a history projected into the future.


Eni's editorial publications

The story of energy in browsable magazines and books.