Catalonia Today: light, bland, should do fine

No, not Catalonia Today the magazine, nor Catalonia Today the Generalitat PR splurge, but the English-language daily to be launched on June 15th. Today a dummy run was enclosed in El Punt, and – barring some linguistic and factual howlers (Carod, the front page informs us, is “deputy president” of Catalonia) – it looks OK.

Catalonia Today is a 24-page mini-tabloid (we’re talking size, not style) which aims to provide a light read from Tuesday to Saturday for expats, tourists, exchange students and business folk. It seems likely that the bulk of the news and editorial content will be translated or localised, as it were, from the paper’s Catalan-language backers, El Punt (news), El 9 (sport) and popular portal VilaWeb. Advertising, production, circulation will also plug into the operations of these businesses and, although expat Times man Stephen Burgen has been plonked in the editorial chair and the logo will look familiar to British readers, the operation is basically about the backers reusing assets at marginal cost in order to drive up revenues.

The paper is being given away free and revenues will come from advertising and, at some stage, from the monetisation of web-based communities. With a run of 30,000, it should be able to to attract serious advertising and I reckon – given the small size of the pond – that it’s going to damage quite severely the monthly Barcelona Metropolitan, which has a similar focus and style, and Catalunya Classified, the classified operation of BM’s owners, Creative Media Group. (Pssst, that’s the Catalan Creative Media Group, not one of the others. Creative indeed…)

What’s surprising about this enterprise is that none of the other local media operations was smart enough to do it first. None, that is, except Kaleboel Global Domination Inc, which has been syndicating free English news headlines to other websites for … oooh … all of two days now. The response from the public and from Kaleboel’s backers to Lorna the goat has been so positive that we’re happy to tell you that we’re on the verge of signing Gypsy Eric, who can tell you your fortune on the basis of the alcohol (food, vomit – no shit!) stains on your t-shirt. Watch this space.

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  1. You need to get on the copy/paste Instapundit bloglist and you’d get much more traffic. Why not get a right-wing columnist instead of Gipsy Eric?

  2. Catalonia Today’s managing editor Carles Puigdemont and Vilaweb boss Vicenc Partal are both signatories to the Freedom for Catalonia manifesto (“Catalonia is not Spain neither France” – sic), so it will be interesting to see what levels of self-censorship and catalooniness will prevail. Re Metropolitan, Catalonia Today’s pilot issue states it won’t be gunning for the Tetley tea and Test match expat market, but you can bet that full-page advertisers La Caixa and Deutsche Bank won’t want to bankrole a daily.
    Peeving that the monthly Barcelona Business (69 issues of hard news under the belt) is not acknowledged…

  3. Barcelona Business has a completely different focus – news, not feel-good froth – and I doubt whether the Anglo scribes credited in yesterday’s CT will have heard of any but a few of the names that pop up regularly in BB’s news/politics/business content. I think the word “newspaper” is usually used to refer a daily publication, otherwise their claim to be “The first catalan newspaper in english” (sic) would ring a bit hollow.

  4. Trevor, they’re not going to get the advertising. Remember they’re starting out just when all the local advertisers are going on holiday.

  5. I just followed the link and got a webpage that, among other things, displayed:

    La fecha de tu muerte

    Haz el test y descubre ¡cuánto tiempo vivirás! B35C\SMS

    Another shite gone down the drain and sewer? Alas, it’s just gone .cat, then blog, fejsbuk and whaddayaknow. Da Tree is writing for it.

    What else.

    Where are my taxes!!!

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