Cambio 16

   Cambio 16 is one of Spain's most successful weekly general and current affairs magazines. Though it no longer dominates this sector of the market as it once did, it remains a powerful voice in Spanish public debate. It is the longest standing of the various general information weekly magazines available in Spain, having been launched in the early 1970s, towards the end of the Franco era. It is published by Grupo 16, a publishing group which also puts out a daily newspaper, Diario 16, as well as a number of other more specialized magazines.
   Cambio 16"s prestige was high in the immediate post-dictatorship period of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its general layout and structure are well-known to regular readers. It always opens with the Editor's Letter on the first inside page. This feature, which is peculiar to Spanish weekly magazines, combines some of the characteristics of an editorial with those of a personal column, and serves to set the general tone of the magazine. Following Letters to the Editor and a fairly lightweight "People in the News" section, Cambio 16 will then usually continue with a special feature of some kind. Next comes "Este País" (This Country), one of the most read sections of the magazine and generally viewed as one of the most important forums for news and opinion in the country's weekly press. This is followed by a fairly substantial international news section and, finally, somewhat lighter culture/ society articles.
   Though it was originally prized as a focus for the expression of anti-Franco opinion, and subsequently as a champion of liberal-democratic views, it is perhaps fair to say that Cambio 16 has to some extent aged along with its primary readership. It is now openly conservative in its political outlook, and its constant campaigns of criticism against members of PSOE governments cannot be fully explained by the desire simply to expose corruption. It now basically addresses a largely middle-aged, middle-class readership which would like Spain to be more modern and more efficient, but which would prefer any change which takes place not to threaten their own relatively privileged position. This gradual ageing of Cambio 16 has slowly opened up a space in the market which has now been exploited by a number of competing publications, the most important of which is Grupo Zeta's Tiempo, a much younger and pushier magazine which has now in fact overtaken Cambio 16 in terms of sales. Nonetheless, Cambio 16"s long history of defence of democratic values, at a time when they were vulnerable, is likely to ensure the continued loyalty of its readership.
   See also: media; press
   Further reading
   - 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 sum).
   HUGH O'DONNELL

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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