ABC

   ABC is one of a very small number of older familyowned 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
   - 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

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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