Diari de Barcelona, El

Diari de Barcelona, El
   The Diari de Barcelona was the penultimate, and unfortunately somewhat short-lived, phase of one of the oldest newspapers in Spain. Its untimely (and to some extent unseemly) demise highlights the serious problems facing Catalan-language publications in Catalonia.
   For the bulk of its existence, this paper was in fact known as El Diario de Barcelona. It was founded in 1792 and was, as its title suggests, published exclusively in Spanish. This situation continued until 1936, when for a period of two years it was written in Catalan. Following Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, it reverted to Spanish as its language of publication, and continued in this vein until 1984, although it occasionally featured articles in Catalan towards the end of this period. In 1984 it disappeared for a period of three years, re-emerging in 1987 as the Diari de Barcelona, now using Catalan as its language of publication. Sales during this period were extremely modest, averaging around 25,000 on weekdays and 35,000 on Sundays, and it was only a question of time before it was restructured in some way. In April 1993 the title Diari de Barcelona disappeared, and the newspaper reappeared as part of the newly formed Nou Diari group. Local editions of the Nou Diari outside Barcelona also replaced a number of smaller Catalan-language newspapers in, for example, Reus, Lleida, Girona and Tarragona. The Nou Diari newspapers were linked in their origins with leading members of the Catalan Socialist Party, and in particular with the mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, and were seen by many as an attempt to provide a Catalanlanguage daily newspaper for the Catalan left.
   They therefore combined a linguistic Catalanism with a political españolismo (a belief in the unity of Spain), a potentially contradictory stance which they were unable to maintain in the longer term. The Barcelona edition of the Nou Diari folded on 28 January 1994 after a lifespan of less than a year, owing to financial collapse, and amidst bitter recriminations between its then owners, the Dalmau brothers, and its previous owner the National Organization for the Blind—ONCE-which had held a 97 percent share in the Diari de Barcelona at the time of the original takeover. The Girona edition would subsequently cease on 2 March of the same year, and the Lleida edition on 29 March, though both the Reus and the Tarragona editions have soldiered on. The collapse of the Nou Diari newspapers in Barcelona and elsewhere testifies—as do the relatively poor readership figures of Catalonia's other Catalan-language daily newspaper Avui-to the continuing problems facing the process of language normalization within Catalonia as far as print media are concerned, problems to which there appears to be no immediate solution.
   Further reading
   - Davies, J. (ed.) (1993) The Mercator Media Guide, Cardiff: University of Wales Press (this guide contains short but informative entries on the main newspapers and television and radio stations in a number of minority languages, including Catalan).
   HUGH O'DONNELL

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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