Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Argentina's Historic Herald

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Argentina's Historic Herald

Article excerpt

A MILESTONE IN journalism history was observed in Argentina last fall when the country's noted English-language newspaper, the Buenos Aires Herald, celebrated its 130th anniversary. The daily newspaper is not only a keen observer of the remnants of British culture that were prevalent in the 1870s, when the country was flooded by businessmen and civil engineers from the British isles, but is also a steady-handed chronicler of the country's most pressing political, economic, cultural, and social issues.

The growth over many decades of English-language newspapers in Latin America and the Caribbean has generally mirrored the presence of a sizeable expatriate community of English speakers. Initially, it was economic opportunity that attracted foot-loose adventurers to countries throughout the region. Later, expanded tourism and the arrival of large numbers of retirees helped sustain these disparate publications.

Decades ago in Costa Rica, the San Jose News, calling itself "Costa Rica's largest circulation English-language newspaper," battled its rival, The Tico Times, for the favor of the small nation's English-speaking community. Today, The Tico Times reigns, billing itself as "Central America's leading English-language news source." In neighboring Panama, the Star & Herald, which suspended publication in 1987, had been a leading daily news outlet on the isthmus since it merged with the competing Panama Star in 1854. It was born in 1849 as the Panama Stay; when three Gold Rush-bound Americans were stranded in Panama and decided to become newspapermen. Today, the Star & Herald's Spanish-language sister publication, La Estrella de Panama, continues its role as one of the republic's primary newspapers.

Elsewhere in the Americas, some once-successful publications, including the Brazil Herald, the Times of Brazil, The Times of Havana, and its U.S.-based successor, The Times of the Americas, are now but small footnotes in the annals of publishing lore in the hemisphere. Puerto Rico's venerable the San Juan Star, a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication, continues to thrive and serve an expanding readership, while Chile's Santiago Times represents the new digital era; it's available only online, although many entities, such as hotels and libraries, print the daily version in a PDF format.

The Buenos Aires Herald, however, is in a class of its own. Far from just an unassuming publication designed to serve tourists and local English speakers, the Herald is a full-fledged member of Argentina's robust media culture, covering the news of the day with a large and professional staff. …

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