El Mundo (Spain)

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El Mundo
Front page, 1 June 2009
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Unidad Editorial S.A.
EditorJorge de Esteban
Founded23 October 1989; 34 years ago (1989-10-23), as El Mundo del Siglo Veinte
Political alignmentCentre-right[1]
HeadquartersMadrid, Spain
Circulation266,294 (2011)
Sister newspapers
ISSN1697-0179 (print)
1697-0179 (web)

El Mundo (Spanish pronunciation: [el ˈmundo]; lit.'The World'), before El Mundo del Siglo Veintiuno, is the second largest printed daily newspaper in Spain. The paper is considered one of the country's newspapers of record along with El País and ABC.

History and profile[edit]

El Mundo was first published on 23 October 1989.[2][3] Perhaps the best known of its founders was Pedro J. Ramírez, who served as editor until 2014.[4] Ramirez had risen to prominence as a journalist during the Spanish transition to democracy.[5] The other founders, Alfonso de Salas, Balbino Fraga and Juan González, shared with Ramírez a background in Grupo 16, the publishers of the newspaper Diario 16. Alfonso de Salas, Juan Gonzales and Gregorio Pena also launched El Economista in 2006.[6]

El Mundo, along with Marca and Expansión, is controlled by the Italian publishing company RCS MediaGroup[2] through its Spanish subsidiary company Unidad Editorial S.L.[7][8] Its former owner was Unedisa which merged with Grupo Recoletos in 2007 to form Unidad Editorial, current owner of the paper.[9]

The paper has its headquarters in Madrid,[10] but maintains several news bureaus in other cities. The daily has a national edition and ten different regional editions,[11] including those for Andalusia, Valencia, Castile and León, the Balearic Islands and Bilbao. It is published in tabloid format.[12]

In 2005 El Mundo started a supplement for women, Yo Dona, which was modelled on IO Donna, a supplement of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.[13]

In January 2014 Pedro J. Ramírez, editor of the paper, was fired from his post.[14][15] He argued that reporting on corruption scandals involving Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy led to his sacking.[14][15] Casimiro García-Abadillo served as editor until April 2015, when he was replaced in turn by David Jiménez.[4][16]

Editorial stance[edit]

Editorially, El Mundo often expresses the mainstream views of the centre-right[14][17] with independent and liberal overtones.[1][18]

El Mundo defines its editorial line as liberal. It is usually critical of the left-wing and peripheral nationalisms. Its current ideology is secular center-right. Among its columnists there is a remarkable heterogeneity and eclecticism, often openly critical of the editorial line itself. At the time it was decisive in the fall of Felipe González.[1]

According to its ideological principles, “it aspires to be a progressive newspaper, committed to defending the current democratic system, public freedoms and human rights included in the Universal Declaration promulgated by the UN and in the European Convention of Human Rights."[19]

Political impact[edit]

El Mundo has played a key role in uncovering a number of scandals, among them embezzlement by the commander of the Guardia Civil, accusations of insider trading and tax fraud by the governor of the Central Bank of Spain and aspects of the Bárcenas affair.[20] Investigative reporting by the staff of El Mundo also revealed connections between the terrorist Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación (GAL) and the Socialist administration of Felipe González, revelations that contributed to his defeat in the 1996 elections.

In October 2005, El Mundo revealed that Nazi Aribert Heim (aka "Doctor Death") had been living in Spain for 20 years, probably with help from the ODESSA network, in collaboration with Otto Skorzeny, who had helped set up one of the most important ODESSA bases of operation in Spain, during the rule of Francisco Franco.[21]

After the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings, the newspapers El Mundo and La Razón, the regional television channel Telemadrid and the COPE radio network alleged that there had been inconsistencies in the explanations given by the Spanish judiciary about the bombings. Other Spanish media, such as El País, ABC and the Cadena SER radio network, accused El Mundo and the other media of manipulation over this issue. The bombings and the results of the subsequent judicial inquiry are still debated in Spain today.[22]


The circulation of El Mundo rose in the 1990s. It was

  • 209,992 copies in 1993
  • 268,748 copies in 1994[23]
  • 68,813 copies in 2020[24]

In 2001 El Mundo had a circulation of 291,000 copies[25] and it was 312,366 copies next year.[26] The paper had a circulation of 300,000 copies in 2003, making it the third best selling newspaper in the country.[27]

Based on the findings of the European Business Readership Survey El Mundo had 11,591 readers per issue in 2006.[28] Its circulation between June 2006 and July 2007 was 337,172 copies.[10] The 2007 circulation of the paper was 337,000 copies.[2] It was 338,286 copies in 2008[29] and had 200,000 readers for the printed edition in 2009.[30] The circulation of the paper was 266,294 copies in 2011.[31] In April 2020 the newspaper had 51,526 readers of the printed edition.[32]

Digital readership[edit]

El Mundo (elmundo.es) is currently the second digital newspaper in Spanish.[24] It was previously in the lead after El País introduced a payment system for access to the contents of its electronic version. It had 24 million unique web visitors per month in 2009.

Many online readers are in Latin America, and the website has an edition for the Americas.[30] However, digital expansion has done little to offset the decline in revenues from Spanish advertisers since 2008.[4][5] The newspaper aims to increase digital profits via a subscription model.[33] It launched a current affairs outlet only accessible to subscription customers, named ORBYT.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Linea Editorial de algunos periódicos españoles adfcpadreanchieta.com (in Spanish) Archived 2 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c José A. García Avilés; Klaus Meier; Andy Kaltenbrunner; Miguel Carvajal; Daniela Kraus (2009). "Newsroom integration in Austria, Spain and Germany". Journalism Practice. 3 (3): 285–303. doi:10.1080/17512780902798638. hdl:11000/4570. S2CID 142640530.
  3. ^ Anna Galluzzi (20 September 2014). Libraries and Public Perception: A Comparative Analysis of the European Press. Elsevier Science. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-78063-425-8. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Raphael Minder (3 February 2014). "Founding Editor is Dismissed as Head of El Mundo". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b Ramirez (2014). "Fired for speaking out". New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  6. ^ "El Economista". Presseurope. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  7. ^ Frank R. Baumgartner; Laura Chaqués Bonafont (2014). "All News is Bad News: Newspaper Coverage of Political Parties in Spain" (PDF). Political Communication. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Daily Press" (PDF). Unidad Editorial. December 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  9. ^ Laura Chaqués Bonafont; Frank R. Baumgartner (April 2013). "Newspaper attention and policy activities in Spain". Journal of Public Policy. 33 (1): 65–88. doi:10.1017/S0143814X12000219. hdl:2445/49364. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ a b Andrea Czepek; Melanie Hellwig; Eva Nowak (2009). Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe: Concepts and Conditions. Intellect Books. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-84150-243-4. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  11. ^ Donn James Tilson; Pilar Saura Pérez (2003). "Public relations and the new golden age of Spain: a confluence of democracy, economic development and the media" (PDF). Public Relations Review. 29. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  12. ^ Jesús del-Olmo-Barbero; Sonia Parratt-Fernández (2011). "Typography and colour: A comparative analysis of the free and paid-for newspapers in Spain". Revista Latina de Comunicacion Social (66). Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  13. ^ "El Mundo – new readership record". OSP. 25 April 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  14. ^ a b c "Spain's press freedom under fire in US media". The Local. 3 February 2014. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  15. ^ a b Ashifa Kassam (25 March 2014). "Media revolution in Spain as readers search for new voices". The Guardian. Madrid. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  16. ^ "El Consejo de Administración..." 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  17. ^ Lisa Abend (17 October 2008). "At Last, Spain Faces Up to Franco's Guilt". Time. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  18. ^ "El perfil ideológico de los medios de prensa españoles". 3 March 2016. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  19. ^ "EL MUNDO | Documentos | Grupo Unidad Editorial | Principios ideológicos". www.elmundo.es. Archived from the original on 9 July 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  20. ^ Preston, Peter (2014). "All hail Pedro J Ramírez, Spain's crown prince of muckraking". The Observer. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Report: Nazi 'Doctor Death' Has Been Hiding in Spain Since 1985". Haaretz. 30 October 2005. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Lacerca". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011.
  23. ^ "Facts of Spain". Florida International University. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  24. ^ a b "El País el periódico digital en español más leído del mundo". El Pais (in Spanish). 2016. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  25. ^ Adam Smith (15 November 2002). "Europe's Top Papers". campaign. Archived from the original on 13 March 2020. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  26. ^ David Ward (2004). "A Mapping Study of Media Concentration and Ownership in Ten European Countries" (PDF). Dutch Media Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  27. ^ Roland Schroeder (2004). "Interactive Info Graphics in Europe-- added value to online mass media: a preliminary survey". Journalism Studies. 5 (4): 563–570. doi:10.1080/14616700412331296473. S2CID 144687383.
  28. ^ Craig Carroll (1 September 2010). Corporate Reputation and the News Media: Agenda-setting Within Business News Coverage in Developed, Emerging, and Frontier Markets. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-135-25244-1. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  29. ^ Alan Albarran (10 September 2009). Handbook of Spanish Language Media. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-135-85430-0. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  30. ^ a b "elmundo.es launches Americas edition". Editors Weblog. 27 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  31. ^ Figures covering July 2010 to June 2011 from Spain's Archived 29 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Oficina de Justificación de la Difusión. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  32. ^ "OJD: El País cae por debajo de los 100.000 ejemplares y ABC supera a El Mundo en ventas". El Español (in European Spanish). 3 March 2020. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  33. ^ a b "'El Mundo' establece un modelo de pago en su web similar al del 'New York Times'" (in Spanish). Heraldo de Aragón. Europa Press. 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.

External links[edit]