Frontera, a daily that covers San Diego and Tijuana, was redesigned for its recent 15th anniversary celebration. Political analyst and op-ed columnist Benedicto Ruiz Vargas (left) doesn’t like the new look and let readers know in a column that editors spiked on Tuesday.
A reader, who was slipped the column, sent me excerpts:
The changes at Frontera are with the idea of creating a newspaper that’s more attractive, easier to read, stressing photography and images, with information capsules, titles in large letters and short stories, with more stories about daily life about what happens to everyday people, with practical advice on family life or about aspects related to health, nutrition, etc. Sports and entertainment occupy are the centerpiece, with advertising on the front page, although these share the space with stories that tells of violence and crime.
The premise behind this orientation is that in the new consumer market there are hardly any readers, or the average buyer is seeking more entertainment and less information, more things that are practical, with no interest in fields such as economy, politics, government or democracy. This is a reader who is not interested in going any deeper, becoming more broadly informed, or following a debate…..
That is to say, we are witnessing a process in which the newspaper ceases to be a newspaper, converting itself into hybrid that combines information and entertainment. …
I’ve invited Vargas and Frontera CEO Juan Fernando L. Healy to comment.
Update: Vargas says in an email that he “agrees to a public debate with the owners/editors of Frontera on the subject.” I haven’t received a response from the CEO.