Saturday, October 20, 2007

Interesting difference in Spain and US newspaper coverage of the same story


There has been a story in the news recently that today I saw mentioned for the first time in an American newspaper. The article, in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), revealed something I have not seen mentioned in Spanish coverage of the same story. Before I say what that was, let me give you a little background.
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Manel Blat Gonzalez has been fighting to have his name removed from the rolls of the Spanish Roman Catholic Church. It started a few years ago when the archbishop of Valencia refused Mr. Gonzalez' request to add a note to his baptismal record stating that he no longer considered himself Roman Catholic. Next Mr. Gonzalez asked the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (the Spanish Data Protection Agency) to intervene. The archbishop twice refused the Agency's order that he comply with the request and the Church eventually appealed to the courts. The case ended up in Spain's Audiencia Nacional (National Court), which this week ruled in favor of Mr. Gonzalez and the Agency. The archbishop is considering appealing to Spain's highest court, the Tribunal Supremo.
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So, what was different about the IHT report? Well, it mentioned that Mr. Gonzalez was gay. That was news to me because his sexual orientation had not been referred to in any of the Spanish articles I had read, including the most recent one in El Pais.
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Of course, I don't read all of the Spanish papers and I haven't read every Spanish news story about this, so I imagine it probably has been mentioned somewhere. However, I just did a quick Internet search of various Spanish media outlets and did not see his sexual orientation talked about anywhere. This leads me to believe that perhaps the Spanish media doesn't find it a very relevant fact.
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While I can see why it would be considered newsworthy by the IHT, what with the Roman Catholic Church's position on homosexuality and the Spanish Church's opposition to gays being allowed to marry in Spain, it is still an interesting difference, don't you think?
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If you're interested in reading the El Pais article, click here for the on-line version. For the IHT article, click here.
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Chao amig@s,
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Carloz

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