Media Censorship in Spain

Article published on July 26, 2007
community published
Article published on July 26, 2007
I guess everyone has heard about the latest media scandal in Spain. Well, I'll explain it anyway. There is a magazine called El Jueves, thursday, that is published every wednesday. It isn't easy to define the magazine, I have never really browsed it through, but it's about cartoons, humour and irony.
Many people that don't buy it still check out the cover page every week because it's usually very funny. Nevertheless, the thing is that last weeks issue was drawn out from the market. It was a victim of real European media censorship 2007.

The thing is, that El Jueves hurt the Spainish Royal Family. And if they feel offended, they have every right to use the censorship. They hardly ever use their right, for example El Jueves has a page every week about the king, but it doesn't annoy him that much. Well, this time the joke was in the cover and it was quite striking. To be able to understand the joke you have to know the background: the Spanish goverment is going to give 2500 euros to the parents for every baby they have. It is planned to improve the country's birthrate. Well, in the scandalous issue's cover you see the caricatures of the Crown Prince Felipe and the Crown Princess Letizia. They are having sex "doggy style" and the prince says: "Have you noticed? If you get pregnant, that'll be the closest I ever can get to real work." The cartoon surely looks awful, the prince with his red nose and the princess with wide-open scared eyes. That's the magazine's style.

The case has sticken out a huge discussion in Spain. Mostly the people think that the Royal Family exaggerated, that the freedom of press and opinion is more important than anything. Should the Royal Family tolerate everything? Bear in mind that the Spanish law can condemn up to two years in prison for offending the Royal Family. I don't really know what to think about the storm. As a journalist I must defend the freedom of expression, but I still can imagine the prince's angry face. In the end the whole thing just makes me smile...