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La opinión in numbers

Circulation: 126,628 units on average Monday through Friday, number as of March, 2004.

Readers: 47,319 on daily average (Scarborough 2005)

717,500 in a combined average on Saturday and Sunday

La Opinión online: 750,000 users a month (March 2005)

Penetration: 62% of the market in south California

Recognition: 92%-94% of the population of the region

Audited growth: 26% in the four last years

Points of sale: 14,930


La Opinión has always had competition. When it first started in 1926, there were two newspapers being published in Spanish in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Express was born in the 1970s and El Diario de México and Noticias del Mundo in the 1980s. All disappeared after several years. Recently, Hoy from the Chicago Tribune chain appeared; so have publications with the same name in New York and Chicago. In addition to Hoy, published five days a week and distributed freely, other publications compete with La Opinión in the local market (for example, a bilingual publication chain in east Los Angeles and weekly magazine Excélsior in Santa Ana). Publications directed to concrete groups appear and disappear frequently; for example, El Peruano and La Prensa Colombiana . From San Francisco to San Diego, all cities with a Hispanic presence, publications in Spanish exist. There is a long list of awarded Hispanic publications in the diverse categories by the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

Spanish language newspapers are expanding nation-wide. For example, The Dallas Morning News publishes Al Día five times a week, and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram publishes Diario La Estrella Mexiamérica just put four tabloids on the Texan border, the first newspaper network in Spanish in Texas: Rumbo de Austin, Rumbo de Houston, Rumbo de San Antonio, and Rumbo del Valle . The common title reveals the intention to be in the way of those that “go north.”

All the media in Spanish want to sell and inform in Spanish, but they are looking for the most suitable language to speak to those that are of “here and there,” but the here and there of Hispanics in the United States is very diverse, as much as the places where they live and those of their origin. In addition to the class of information they offer, the attitude of publications before their readers will determine their success or failure. If they guess right, the reading public will reward them.

Competition has always forced La Opinión to surpass itself, and now it has the mission to support other local sources of intelligence for Hispanics in the country. It will try to instill the spirit that has vivified it for almost 79 years of life: that of not losing the point of view of the readers’ necessities. In 1990, La Opinóon sold 50% of its shares to Times Mirror Corp., womb of the Los Angeles Times. The news caused consternation, sadness, and rage between many of its readers who feared a loss of independence. An executive, for example, requested a minute of silence in his office as symbol of mourning. A reader expressed sadness "because we had something by and for Hispanics without having to give explanation to anybody” ( La Opinión, p.1).

La Opinión has always lived by the infallible principle that I learned many years ago in the Universidad de la Barberia de Mi Padre in Olivia de Plasencia, Cáceres: To teach Latin to Pedro, it is more important to know Pedro than to know Latin. In order to serve the reader, the reader has to be known. This is something that nobody has done in the United States better than my newspaper. Conscious to sinning of superficiality, that is in broad strokes the history of La Opinión of Los Angeles, California; a history kneaded with a mutual fidelity that produced a total symbiosis with its readers.

Dr. Juan José García is professor for the institution of immigrants, Talayuela, Extremadura, Spain.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Immigration in the united states and spain: consideration for educational leaders. OpenStax CNX. Dec 20, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11150/1.1
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