The mass media in Spain was tightly controlled under Franco from 1939 until 1966. From 1966 until Francos death in 1975 there was a little relaxation in state control. But it only since 1975 that the Spanish press was able to mature under a democratic government.
Figures indicate the total sales of daily newspapers at around 4.2m having fallen slightly over the last few years. The circulation rate is about 107 copies per 1,000 inhabitants, which is low in comparison with other European countries. In Spain there are major differences in newspaper purchase between the different regions. For instance, while in Navarra it is about 188 copies per 1,000 inhabitants, in Castilla La Mancha it is 52 copies per 1,000 inhabitants.
Although only 10% of the population actually buy a daily paper, 38 per cent of them read the daily press. The reason for this can be found in the Spanish habit of sharing newspapers, their availabilty in restaurants, etc.
Advertising brings in from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the income of Spanish newspapers and magazines. Newspapers and magazines are mainly privately owned. 20 newspapers control about 70 per cent of the total newspaper circulation and about 60 per cent of all these newspapers are owned by regional daily press groups such as Prensa Ibérica; or by foreign capital such as Recoletos (owned by Pearson); or by the three Spanish media groups: Prisa, Correo and Zeta.
There are more than 100 newspapers published in Spain, some of them regional editions of national newspapers. The best-selling title, El País, a national daily general information newspaper, sells about 458,000 copies per issue (2005 figure). There are only three daily national general newspapers: El Pais, El Mundo and ABC selling 459,000, 310,000 and about 277,000 copies per issue respectively. In most of the 17 regions of Spain the main regional newspapers for that region, will outsell the national papers in that region. In Catalonia, La Vanguardia and El Periódico, sell about 202,000 and 172,000 copies per issue, respectively. In the Basque Country, El Correo sells about 126,000 copies. In Galicia, La Voz de Galicia, sells 119,000 copies. In the rest of the regions the regional newspapers sell less than 100,000 copies per issue.
Specialist sports newspapers have a very high readership. Sports newspapers Marca place a heavy emphasis on football. Two of the top ten papers in Spain are exclusively dedicated to sports, AS and Marca. Marca, a national daily sport newspaper, sells about 333,000 copies. The other national daily sport newspaper, AS, sells about 140,000 copies per issue. There are two large regional newspapers, Sport (89,000) and El Mundo Deportivo (67,000) (Catalonia).
The economic journals have had recent circulation sucesses. The economic daily newspapers are published in Madrid and Barcelona. The titles with the largest circulations in this niche are, Expansión and Cinco Días, with 59,000 and 25,000 copies per issue respectively. La Gaceta de los Negocios sells 13,000 copies.
Most newspapers are published in Spanish. Only six of them are in Catalan and one in Basque, and a few more are bilingual, Catalan/Spanish, Galician/Spanish and Basque/Spanish. The circulation rate of these newspapers is very low, except the circulation of El Periódico published in Spanish and Catalan. There are a number of English Language papers on the costas
There are some 350 periodicals in Spain. Most of them have a small circulation, and only a handful sell over 500,000 copies. Among these are Pronto and Hola, the "prensa del corazón" (the press of the heart), selling about 877,000 and 597,000 copies per issue respectively. Hola has spawned other versions of itself in other countries, such as Hello in the UK.
Pronto, Hola, Lecturas, Semana, etc comentate on the lives of the rich and famous - TV and pop stars, European royalty, the Spanish aristocracy, politicians and public figures. In the main they avoid scandals, and portray the better side of their selected personalitites.
Sports magazines, women’s magazines (e.g. there is a Spanish edition of Cosmopolitan), TV listings magazinesall have a following. Current affairs magazine such as Época are available, which gives in-depth coverage of news stories in Spain and abroad.
English Language News
National Broadcast Media
Internet News Media