Periódico de Catalunya, El

Periódico de Catalunya, El
   El Periódico de Catalunya is published in Barcelona and is the most widely read daily newspaper in Catalonia. It is somewhat brash and even populist in style, but is clearly responding to a demand for a less formal style of journalism among a broader and more socially differentiated readership.
   El Periódico de Catalunya was founded in 1979 by Grupo Zeta, a publishing group with extensive written and electronic media ownership throughout Spain. It is, therefore, a relatively young publication, and lacks both the tradition and the weight of its arch-rival La Vanguardia. Despite its relative youth, it is by any standards a very successful newspaper, having a daily readership of over 850,000, a figure which rises to almost one and a quarter million on Sundays. El Periódico de Catalunya is written uncompromisingly in Spanish, and can indeed at times take a somewhat aggressive stance in relation both to the increased use of the Catalan language within Catalan society (see also language normalization), and to the more general notion of increased autonomy or independence for Catalonia. Despite this it is in many senses very much a Catalan newspaper, giving extensive coverage to events in Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia, and combining this with good international coverage, a detailed business section, and the considerable attention to sport required of any mass audience newspaper. Like La Vanguardia it is broadsheet in format, and it is a substantial read, with individual issues reaching as many as seventy pages in length.
   Despite its Catalan credentials, El Periódico de Catalunya must also be seen as part of a broader Spanish enterprise publishing daily newspapers in other parts of Spain (including El Periódico de Aragon and La Voz de Asturias, with which it pools not only information, but also a number of its most controversial columnists), and which also owns a number of weekly and monthly Spanish magazines, the best-known being Tiempo and Interviú. Thus, despite its editorials and articles written in Barcelona and its very considerable coverage of Catalan events, El Periódico tends to place Catalonia clearly within a more general Spanish framework. Its political position is generally (though seldom stridently or exclusively) sympathetic to the mainstream Spanish right, with a corresponding emphasis on the overriding unity of Spain, even while recognizing the specificities of its individual autonomous communities. Its style and presentation are also notably more populist than those of La Vanguardia. To some extent El Periódico represents the limit beyond which a more popular style of journalism in Spain cannot go. Publications with a more overtly down-market appeal have been short lived, whereas El Periódico has clearly exploited a niche in the Catalan market which the more serious Vanguardia had left untouched.
   Further reading
   - Mateo, R. de and Corbella, J.M. (1992) "Spain" in B.S.Østergaard (ed.) The Media in Western Europe, London: Sage (a useful guide to the media situation in Spain in general, though its coverage of individual newspapers is rather slim).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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