Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Time to Fight for Our Place: An Interview with Alejandro Aguirre Publisher and Deputy Editor of Diario Las Americas

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Time to Fight for Our Place: An Interview with Alejandro Aguirre Publisher and Deputy Editor of Diario Las Americas

Article excerpt

Time to Fight for Our Place

An Interview With Alejandro Aguirre, Publisher and Deputy Editor of Diario Las Americas

Introduction

Diario Las Americas is a Spanish-language newspaper published in Miami, Fla., since 1953. With 66,000 circulation daily and 70,000 on Sunday, it has established itself as an influential publication to the Spanish-speaking community.

Its influence is based on its journalistic integrity. The publisher believes that consistently serving readers with their best has kept them strong and fueled their growth. His comments follow:

We try to keep the news part of the paper apart and unbiased as humanly possible, but we have very strong, conservative editorial opinions. Even the people who disagree with our policies know that it is authentic and we do not play with the different communities here, and a lot of our readers haven't lived with that and they appreciate it.

When the Miami Herald began its Spanish-language newspaper we were able to hold onto a lot of our readers for that reason. We did not change our editorial policies because some marketing guy told me I had to do something.

The Readers

"We cover a lot of demographic ground here. In Miami, the Spanish language is extremely strong and getting stronger. The future of Miami is tied to our ability to tie together Europe, the United States and Latin America. Diario can help this happen.

"The newspaper is building on its involvement with the Spanish-speaking communities, and this is the basis of its circulation growth. As the "paper of record" for Spanish-speaking people, it grew as the Hispanic population grew. Growth has been especially strong from Cuba, Nicaragua and Colombia.

Readers are consumers

"A reader is a consumer. A reader is not looking at this paper in a vacuum. I'm going to fight for my place and time with that consumer because I think there are things I can do that no one else can do quite as well.

"We have to be flexible like any other business, but editors and publishers have to do more than serve what we think are the best interest of our readers. Very often viewers, listeners and readers don't know everything that a media company has within its grasp.

"There are many systems that people with personal computers can tie into and get the AP wire and Reuters, but who is going to sit there all day reading it? We always have the important editing function and, if we keep that in mind and don't forget what our place is, I think we will find our niche with readers very, very well even within all of the clutter of the electronic media. …

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