Sunday, May 21, 2006

la Vanguardia

If you are by any chance in Barcelona over the next two weeks, do head over to the wonderful CCCB museum in the Raval district to see a truly great exhibition, marking 125 years of La Vanguardia, Catalonia's main serious newspaper.

It's a beautifully curated and designed show the main part of which is a collection of the most historic front covers throughout its life.

What stands out is how advanced front page layout at the paper 40, 50 years ago compared to serious British papers. when something truly monumental happened, the front page was cleared for a full page photo - JFK, Picasso's death, etc etc. Picasso's 90th was marked by a full colour reproduction of a birthday card designed by his friend Joan Miro.

The exhibition also features some of the quirky elements, such as the obit notices commemortaing the centerary of the death of Jack the Ripper's victims. And even today there appears each year a memorial to a priest which is accomanied by a few words of commentary on how Barca fared that season.

What is nice is that it remains a newspaper unlike so many British papers which have descended into biased rhetoric, mangling of the facts and distortion of what people say. headlines are straight and interviews are often printed in Q&A form; these are the facts, you decide. Some people regard its national political coverage from Madrid as the best of any paper, avoiding the bias of most of the national titles.

It can be absurdly bullish at times, blowing the trumpted of Barcelona and Catalonia, but it's a huge change to wake up and finding some optimism in your paper after years of the Daily Mail et al telling you every day that we are heading for hell in a handbasket. And it is still family owned, by the aristocratic Godo family which founded it in 1881, which is how all decent papers (such as this one) should be.

1 comment:

solivida said...

Yes Mr Jordi Lander and Mrs Sarah Puyol.Yous should apply for the positions of "Minister of Football" and "Ministress of Medias" at la Generalitat once the Estatut is voted.