Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

A

ABC

ABC is one of a very small number of older family-owned newspapers to survive the transition to democracy following the death of General Franco. It is unashamedly conservative in outlook, but is one of the most successful newspapers in Spain.

Although published in Madrid, ABC is a newspaper with a national readership throughout Spain. It is published by Prensa Española, one of the oldest family-owned publishing groups in the country. It is the only major national newspaper which does not provide data to the Estudio General de Medios (General Media Survey), the organization which provides statistics on readerships and the like for most Spanish publications. Despite this, it is generally believed to be one of Spain’s most widely read dailies, with an average circulation of around a quarter of a million copies, placing it close behind its main national rival El País.

ABC’s appeal is not immediately apparent to the outsider. It has the smallest format of all the Madrid dailies, a feature which has the additional consequence of making it often quite bulky: it can at times total as many as 130 pages, these having the unusual distinction of being stapled at the spine. It is printed on rather poor quality paper, and features few photographs, presenting the reader with broad columns of uninterrupted text occasionally enlivened by the odd line drawing or graph. It has an overwhelmingly unmodern feel, appearing as something of a survivor from a bygone age.

Its political coverage is unabashedly conservative. It has missed few opportunities to criticize the various PSOE governments which have been in office since the early 1980s, and it is uncompromising in its defence of the unity of Spain against any kind of separatist tendency. During the Barcelona Olympics it argued aggressively against any degree of Catalanization of the Games, insisting that they were wholly Spanish. It has further alienated many Catalans by taking a hostile approach to the process of linguistic normalization in that community, even going so far as to accuse the Catalan parliament, the Generalitat, of ‘linguistic fascism’.

Since it does not participate in the General Media Survey, it is difficult to obtain reliable data regarding the precise section of Spanish society to which ABC appeals. On the basis of the evidence available from its own columns, however, it seems clear that it is essentially an older person’s newspaper and that it caters for those who are suspicious of change and want such change as is inevitable to be at a slow pace. As more younger readers come on to the Spanish newspaper market, it seems unlikely that ABC will be able to maintain its current position in the hierarchy of Spanish newspapers in the longer term.


Further reading

m
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).

HUGH O’DONNELL

-1-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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