D.he first issue was free, the second came with a cloth bag, and an aluminum bottle will soon follow as a promotional gift. Since the Spanish national holiday on October 12th, there is also fighting in Madrid El Periódico de España in the newspaper market for readers who are getting fewer and fewer. With the courageous re-establishment, the province is making an advance into the embattled capital.
The Prensa Ibérica publishing group currently owns two dozen regional and local newspapers in the Spanish regions. These include respected newspapers such as the traditional La Nueva España in Asturias, Levante in Valencia and, with El Periódico, also the second largest newspaper in Catalonia. Now the publishing couple Javier Moll and Arantza Sarasola, who have been active in the newspaper business since the Transición, the transition to democracy, are also flying the flag in the capital. Initially, this will only be done on paper on weekdays in Madrid with an initial print run of 15,000 copies that will be adapted to demand.
The project shouldn’t compete with its own newspapers out in the country. “It is not a newspaper that is founded in Madrid and then opens offices across the country, but rather the opposite,” says editor-in-chief Fernando Garea of the FAZ. The editorial offices in the regions supply the “Spanish newspaper”, as it is literally translated , with his own texts, in order to bring the people of Madrid closer to the “real Spain” instead of the “official”.
The founders want to move away from fixation on the capital. Editor-in-chief Garea speaks of a “federal” approach, which gives the newspapers on the periphery complete freedom: Prensa Ibérica is taking a different path than, for example, German regional newspaper groups that maintain central editorial offices in the capital and the papers with national content distributed across the country and often Deliver finished pages.
When it comes to clicks, it takes the top spot
Ultimately, only forty of the more than 1200 editors in the center of Madrid not far from Cibeles Square take care of the national presence. In just eight months they built the new newspaper out of the ground. For some time now, the more than twenty editorial offices, which also include the German-language Mallorca newspaper, several magazines and broadcasters, have been more closely interlinked and have been exchanging their content with one another. Some see parallels here with the German Ippen regional newspaper group. According to their own information, the Spaniards have 185,000 copies a day with 1.7 million readers in terms of the total print run (including magazines).
Online they see themselves with almost 28 million “unique page clicks” and 655 million clicks per month, ahead of the Prisa group (with El País) at the top. The digital edition was conceived from the beginning as a project for the whole of Spain. “We will be very ambitious here,” they say. Every day the editorial team produces an elaborate digital report with videos, on Wednesday about Spanish vaccine opponents and the drivers of the courier services.
EPE, as the abbreviation is, wants to be a platform for a “pluralistic, diverse and decentralized” Spain. This should also clarify the unexcited layout with a lot of leading and white space. One wants to get away from the media noise, to give space to the different voices and above all to get out of the political “trenches” into which the Spanish press has often withdrawn since the civil war, says editor-in-chief Garea.
While the competitors rely on opinion, there should only be an editorial in the new newspaper in exceptional cases; it is better to let experts have their say in guest articles and to cooperate with the foreign policy journal Política Exterior. The editors are committed to the values of the “Transición” that has shaped them. Editor-in-chief Garea himself was parliamentary correspondent for El País and El Mundo; Most recently, the socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had commissioned him to manage the Efe news agency.
The first free edition was quickly sold out on Tuesday. But at two euros, the new newspaper is more expensive than El País, El Mundo and others, which also appear with large editions on weekends. “Twenty years ago, when people were still reading on paper, it might have worked. The new newspaper will be gone in two or three months, ”says a skeptical kiosk owner on Goya Street in Madrid.