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Home / Spanish newspaper El País stops section on bullfighting

Spanish newspaper El País stops section on bullfighting


Good news from Spain, because the Spanish newspaper El País stops its section on bullfighting. An important moment for journalism in Spain, because El País is the most read newspaper in Spain and the one with the highest circulation. Because of this, many people will no longer be confronted with positive coverage of bullfighting.

© Santuario Vegan

This applies specifically to the printed version of the newspaper. In the digital version, the section will continue to exist. Even if it does not disappear completely, it is an important step: for years El País gave the bullfighting sector a large platform. For example, in 1995 the newspaper published more than one thousand articles on bullfighting. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, this number dropped to 150, with only six articles published since January 2022. The sharp decline can also be seen in the digital version of El País. In 2015 there were still 800 articles published here, in 2022 so far only 87.

Bullfighting in the media

This decline is illustrative of the growing disinterest in bullfighting from Spanish society and reflected in other newspapers. On television, bullfighters are increasingly spoken about in negative terms: sometimes they are even ridiculed, something that was totally unthinkable thirty years ago. And the number of well-known Spaniards who speak out against bullfighting is growing: for example, singer Rosario Flores recently expressed herself negatively about bullfighting. She is very well-known in Spain and the daughter of Lola Flores, the country’s greatest Flamenco dancer and singer. Her mother lived in a time when bullfighting was considered sacred. Criticism of bullfighting was absolutely not done then.

For years the bullfighting industry could count on a big platform in the media, but that time is over. Even on the state television Televisión Española (RTVE) this trend can be seen. Until 2006, it broadcast the bullfights live. Spanish children were shown the bloody images in their living rooms until then. That year, RTVE decided to stop broadcasting bullfights during the day. Six years later, the right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy decided to reverse this. In April of this year, eleven parties tabled an amendment to the draft General Law on Audiovisual Communication to prohibit by law the broadcasting of bullfights during children’s hours – between 6:00 and 22:00. With this, the parties want to follow the advice of the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations: to keep minors away from the violence of bullfighting.

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