What the Newspaper ‘Granma’ Can Change / 14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar
14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 21 December 2016 — The
newspaper Granma announced that as of tomorrow, in Thursday’s edition,
it will debut a new design. For the peace of mind of the most orthodox,
the note concludes by warning that “the official organ of the Central
Committee of the Cuban Communist Party is being renewed, but it will
remain the same.”
The modifications refer to the alignment of the headlines, more readable
typography, better composition of the front pages and greater prominence
of photographs. According to the paper itself, its new design “is more
compact, more modern, more contemporary, and cleaner.”
What is striking is that the intention “to look like current times” will
be limited to the visual aspect. Apparently, the paper will not stop
practicing secrecy, political debate will remain absent, and criticisms
will never be directed towards the highest levels of power. No one will
question the legitimacy of the rulers or the viability of the system.
The change of image will coincide with the date when, 55 years ago, the
end of illiteracy in Cuba was proclaimed, but the directors do not seem
to understand that what its readers require from this press organ is
precisely a change of philosophy, of its essence, in order to leave
behind “the conceptions of the founding era.”
Only a profound political illiteracy can come to the conclusion that a
newspaper at the beginning of the 21st century should continue to be
dogmatically governed by such narrow ideological guidelines.
Granma will continue to choose “positive” verbs, adjectives and adverbs
for its national news and will select “negative” ones for the titles
that refer to the rest of the world (excluding its allies). We will have
to continue reading that in Cuba the harvests are growing, the goals are
being exceeded, the programs are advancing without delays, meanwhile
foreign economies are collapsing, unemployment only grows, and the
richest intend to despoil the planet.
“The purpose of this redesign is to compete with ourselves and win,”
confesses Granma in an act of utmost honesty. When an athlete runs alone
on a track she always takes the trophies. It would be another kettle of
fish if at the newsstands the readers could choose among several
publications, if in citizens’ homes there were access to the internet
and any digital news source that circulates in the world, without
restrictions or censorship.
However, the notice that something changes is always welcome.
Source: What the Newspaper ‘Granma’ Can Change / 14ymedio, Reinaldo
Escobar – Translating Cuba – translatingcuba.com/50923-2/