• Spain's news in English

Spain's press freedom under fire in US media

Steve Tallantyre · 3 Feb 2014, 11:19

Published: 03 Feb 2014 11:19 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In a feature published on Sunday, the newspaper interviewed the recently ousted Ramírez, who claimed that his dismissal was "a show of force by a government that wants to send a message to the whole media sector."

Ramírez went on to say that  it was an attempt "to use a time of clear economic weakness to force the media to be docile, servile and practice self-censorship."

The editor was sacked last week from the centre-right newspaper El Mundo which he founded 25 years ago.

In a comparison damning to Spain's international image, the NYT linked the incident with recent press interference by governments in China and Egypt.

It wrote: "Several governments of late have come under criticism by free press advocates. The top editor at Ming Pao, a newspaper in Hong Kong, was removed last month from his post by its owners, leading to complaints that his departure represented the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to subdue the territory’s independent media. Last week, prosecutors in Egypt filed criminal charges accusing 20 journalists for Al Jazeera television of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood."

The high-profile article will be particularly galling to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose recent trip to the United States to meet with President Obama was ignored by US media.

The sacking of Ramírez, in contrast, has been covered by many major international media outlets including Reuters.

El Mundo supported Spain's governing Popular Party (PP) in the last three election campaigns but Ramírez reportedly became unpopular with party bosses after reporting a series of corruption scandals in Spain, one of which involved current Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Story continues below…

Rajoy and other senior PP members have been accused of receiving illegal kickbacks by Luis Bárcenas, the former party treasurer, who is in prison awaiting trial for allegedly organising the payments and for evading tax.

The NYT reported that Rajoy had "addressed lawmakers and accused El Mundo in Parliament of manipulating information" and that he had "denounced 'a circle of libel' against his governing Popular Party."

"I had a good relationship with Rajoy until he came to power,” Ramírez told the newspaper.

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available