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STOP THE PRESSES

The reckless bias of Spanish media when reporting on violence

Any allegedly separatist graffiti is more newsworthy than an actual physical assault

“Separatists mark home of Catalan judge behind referendum probe” was the headline on El Mundo’s front page the same day when they could have run a story about the school in Valencia that was vandalised after a private Spanish TV network, Antena 3, claimed the schoolchildren there were being indoctrinated because they were shown a video about the history of Catalonia. This is the sheer bias of Spanish media: they don’t bother to cover the very real, palpable instances of physical violence by far-right groups, whose actions are either excused by media or simply ignored. Instead, only the graffiti allegedly drawn by independence supporters who have —so far— never been responsible for any physical assaults (let’s hope it stays that way) are regarded as newsworthy.

Meanwhile, the fascists who attacked Blanquerna [the Catalan government’s office in Madrid several years ago], including one who is related to several Partido Popular officials —he is the defence minister’s cousin and the brother-in-law of the Spanish deputy minister for EU affairs— have dodged their prison sentence, once again, thanks to the gracious grace of the oh-so-graceful (and Popular!) Spanish Constitutional Court. Of course, no ardent editorials, no outraged headlines have been printed in condemnation. Unsurprisingly, the HQs of pro-independence parties in Catalonia have also fallen prey to faceless, spray-painting cowards, but that hasn’t got the attention of the Madrid-based papers, either.

The efforts to impose a certain sectarian political narrative have definitely corroded the basic principle of journalism, which states that you must present the different angles and reasons behind a conflict.

These days there has been much talk as to whether there would have been a clear and present threat of violence by the Spanish state against independence supporters, had they been urged to engage in peaceful resistance to defend the Catalan Republic. While we wait for further details to emerge, it is obvious that, for months, certain newspapers have been preparing their (Spanish) readers for that sort of violence. In doing so, they were either reckless or foolish.

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EDICIÓ PAPER 10/12/2017

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