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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

The New York Times ends Spanish edition for financial reasons, says it will continue with translations



In a note to readers on Sept. 17, The New York Times abruptly announced the end of its Spanish edition, after more than three years, for financial reasons.

The New York Times building in New York City (Photo: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA [CC BY 2.0])

We launched NYT en Español as part of an experiment to reach and engage more international readers by extending our coverage to different languages. While the Español site did attract a new audience for our journalism and consistently produced coverage we are very proud of, it did not prove financially successful,” the letter read. “Our strategy is now focused on our subscription-driven core news report for a global audience.”

Translation into Spanish will continue and will be posted at www.nytimes.com/es.

Additionally, the publication said the closure “does not affect our coverage of Latin America, which will remain robust with dedicated staff based in Medellin, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro.”

The New York Times en Español launched on Feb. 8, 2016 with a team of journalists based in Mexico City. Previous plans to launch a Portuguese site targeted to Brazil in 2013 never happened.

The day following the announcement of its closure, the team at NYT en Español released a goodbye version of its newsletter "El Times" with its favorite stories.

The news of the closure of the NYT in Spanish has been swift and brutal, and I still can't speak. But I want to tell you that, in the midst of everything, we were working on this, to leave a sign that every minute has been worth while,” now former editorial director of the NYT en Español, Eliezer Budasoff, said of the newsletter in a Tweet.

They chronicled the Colombian peace process, environmental disasters in Mexico and corruption scandals in Peru. There were opinion pieces from giants in Latin American journalism like Jorge Ramos and Daniel Coronell.

According to the newsletter, the team published forty to fifty translations each week, as well as original opinion articles and reports and its audience was in the millions in terms of unique users and pageviews.

“Even when selecting, translating and editing articles always occupied a large part of our work, the heart of our mission was not only to translate texts into another language, but to bring our readers a journalistic tradition recognized for its accuracy, impartiality and quality, a symbol of independent journalism without ties to power,” the newsletter reads.

The team bid farewell to its readers, collaborators and colleagues and thanked the company and editorial partners.

“We are convinced that, in these times, there is not only the need for a journalism of independence and excellence in Spanish but that every day ample opportunities are created for projects that tell the stories of Latin America and the world with journalistic rigor, varied nuances and the different accents of Spanish,” the letter read.

Colleagues from Latin America, including foreign correspondents for The Times still working in Latin America, expressed their sadness at the closure of the Spanish edition.

Despite the incredible audience growth, the enormous talent of the staff and the relevant and incisive journalism it created, the commercial decision was made to close operations,” Tweeted Azam Ahmed, NYT bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean who is based in Mexico. It breaks my heart to lose such incredible colleagues and friends. I am honored to have worked with this team, to learn from them and to see the remarkable journalism they have created. They are among the best journalists in the industry.”



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