Vanguardia, La

Vanguardia, La
   La Vanguardia, published in Barcelona, is the oldest and most prestigious daily newspaper published in Catalonia, and the only one with a significant circulation in the rest of Spain where it features among the top quality daily publications. La Vanguardia was founded in 1881 by the Catalan industrialists Carlos and Bartolomé Godó and is still owned by the Godó family today. It has an average daily readership of around 700,000, while the Sunday edition can attract well over one million readers. Though its readership has declined slightly, it is still viewed as Catalonia's leading newspaper in terms of quality, and it has acquired the status of something of an institution in Catalan life. It gives extensive daily coverage to Catalan, Spanish and international news, as well as having substantial business and sports sections, and individual issues—particularly the Sunday editions —can have as many as a hundred pages.
   Since its inception La Vanguardia has been a newspaper which has espoused what might generally be termed liberal-conservative views. It has always been written in Spanish, even during those moments of Spanish history when publication in Catalan would have been possible. Its stance in relation to language normalization as regards the use of Catalan within Catalan society as a whole has been to some extent ambiguous. It officially supports the policy, but makes no concessions to it as far as its own language of publication is concerned, and at times it attacks what it sees as the excesses of such a policy. Given its general position as a Spanish rather than a purely Catalan newspaper, there seems little likelihood of it ever allowing the Catalan language to make serious inroads into its columns.
   La Vanguardia has traditionally tended to represent the views of those sections of Catalan society— mostly its industrial and business sectors—which have seen their interests as being best served by Catalonia's continuing inclusion within Spain as a whole, a stance which has earned it a certain amount of criticism from more radically nationalistic sectors of Catalan society. In keeping with this general outlook, La Vanguardia has at times been critical of aspects of the nationalist politics carried out in the Catalan parliament, the Generalitat, by the conservative-nationalist coalition Convergència i Unió (Convergence and Unity—CiU), whose official rhetoric suggests a long-term goal of secession from the rest of Spain. Though it has lost some ground to its main competitor El Periódico de Catalunya, there can be little doubt that La Vanguardia will continue to be a leading newspaper and an important institution within Catalan society as a whole.
   See also: media; press
   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 in Spain in general, though its coverage of individual newspapers is rather slim).
   HUGH O'DONNELL

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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