El Pais set for makeover to capture young readers

17th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

17 October 2007 , MADRID -(AFP) - Spain's journal of record, El Pais, is set for a bold new makeover aimed at attracting younger readers and as a step toward its goal of becoming the Hispanic world's equivalent of the International Herald Tribune.

17 October 2007

MADRID -(AFP) - Spain's journal of record, El Pais, is set for a bold new makeover aimed at attracting younger readers and as a step toward its goal of becoming the Hispanic world's equivalent of the International Herald Tribune.

"The ultimate aim is to become a global newspaper, a bit like the Herald Tribune, which has no base in a particular country," editor-in-chief Javier Moreno told foreign correspondents in Madrid Tuesday.

On Sunday, the left-leaning paper, launched in 1976 in the turbulent period following the death of Spain's military dictator Francisco Franco, will unveil a new format.
International, national and economic news, will initially be in a single section. One of the aims "is to reinforce Latin American news by increasing the number of correspondents there," he said.

El Pais tried to enter the Mexican market in 1994, only to pull out three years later.

"Today, telecommunications, Internet, have radically changed things, and there is no longer a need to have a team of 20 people in Mexico," Moreno said.

El Pais currently sells around 40,000 copies outside of Spain, or around 10 percent of its total of 400,000, according to figures from the country's monitoring agency OJD.

The two countries where its sells the most are Mexico and Argentina.

It also plans to expand on the Internet, which could offer "spectacular growth," said Moreno. Today, the paper's Internet site gets around 780,000 readers daily, against two million for the newspaper itself. About 20 percent of the Internet connections are outside of Spain.

But, like many other newspapers in Europe, it is also seeking to lure younger readers.

"We are going to upgrade pictures, and we are going to cut certain articles," he said.

"We need to connect with the generations who will become the backbone of this country in the next 15 or 20 years."

Although Spain's largest selling daily has maintained its readership, younger people, especially in urban areas, are now able to pick up free newspapers.

Four of the 10 most-read newspapers in Spain are now handed out for free, according to the Association for Mass Media Investigation.

Last month, Spanish media giant Mediapro, the main rival to the Prisa group which owns El Pais, launched a new left-wing daily newspaper, Publico. With a high photo and graphic content, it costs 50 cents (70 US cents), compared to one euro for El Pais.

Moreno however said Publico has failed so far to lure away readers from El Pais.

He also fiercely rejected charges that his paper is close to the Socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

El Pais has recently hit out at "election-based" measures of the government.

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Subject: Spanish news

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