Granma (newspaper)

Granma is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. It was formed in 1965 by the merger of two previous papers, Revolución (from Spanish: "Revolution") and Hoy ("Today").[1] Publication of the newspaper began in February of 1966.[2] Its name comes from the yacht Granma that carried Fidel Castro and 81 other rebels to Cuba's shores in 1956, launching the Cuban Revolution.[3] The newspaper has been a way for Fidel Castro and the Cuban Communist Party to communicate their ideology to the world, especially in regards to the United States.[4] Marta Rojas worked for the paper since its founding.

Granma
Logo Diario Granma.png
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatBroadsheet
Owner(s)Cuban government
EditorYailin Orta Rivera
FoundedOctober 4, 1965; 56 years ago (October 4, 1965)
Political alignmentCommunist Party (Cuba)
LanguageSpanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian, German
HeadquartersPlaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba
ISSN0864-0424
Websitegranma.cu

EditionsEdit

The newspaper is published daily and is the most widely read newspaper in Cuba. In 1997, the circulation of the newspaper was estimated to be approximately 675,000.[citation needed] Several weekly international editions, available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish and Portuguese, are also distributed abroad.[citation needed] Apart from Cuba, Granma is also printed in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.[5] Also, news stories from Granma are often carried later in the Spanish-language sections of periodicals with a similar political base,[citation needed] such as People's Weekly World.

The normal edition is published six days a week (not Sundays) and runs to eight pages plus occasional supplements.

Digital FormatEdit

The first website for Granma was created in August of 1996, making Granma the first media organization in Cuba to have a website. The Granma daily news was first published on a separate website in July 1997, and the two sites were later merged. The website includes versions of the newspaper in five languages other than Spanish, and updates all of these versions daily.[5]

ContentEdit

Granma regularly features:[citation needed]

  • Speeches by Raúl Castro and other leaders of the Cuban government, including former President Fidel Castro's column, 'Reflexiones de Fidel' meaning 'Fidel's Reflections'.
  • Official announcements of the Cuban government
  • Popular sketches highlighting the history of Cuba's revolutionary struggle, from the 19th to the 21st century
  • Developments in Latin America and world politics
  • Steps by Cuba's workers and farmers to defend and advance the socialist revolution
  • Developments in industry, agriculture, science, the arts, and sports in Cuba today
  • TV listings for that day
  • Cuban social, cultural, and political events, such as parades and festivals[2]

The Newspaper has tended to focus on events occurring in and around Havana. In regards to political events, it has tended to focus on events supportive of the party and government, while excluding events that do not support these institutions.[2] Recently this has started to change, which coincides with the Cuban Communist Party's policy of being more open to criticism.[6]

Cartas a la DirecciónEdit

The Cartas a la Dirección section of Granma contains letters from readers, as well as responses from the editor. It was first included in the newspaper on March 14, 2008, soon after Raúl Castro's speech stating that the Cuban Communist Party is open to criticism. The section has since then become very popular. The letters in this section can involve multiple topics, including complaints and suggestions for the newspaper or the Cuban Communist Party.[6] Publication of letters to the editor of Granma serve a few functions. First, the publication of the letters acts as a platform in which the Cuban public can directly interact with the editor of the newspaper, as well as with the communist party as a whole. It also serves as a method for the party and the government to stay accountable to the public. Finally, the letters help inform Cuban leadership of matters concerning the people.[6] Initially, very few of the letters published in Cartas a la Dirección received responses, and these responses were often vague and unhelpful. However, Granma, through editorial comments added onto letters and responses, as well as a periodic overview of responses, attempted to pressure government agencies into improving the quality and frequency of their responses. The strategy worked, with 77 percent of letters receiving responses in 2016, improved from only 8.8 percent in 2011.[6]

The section Cartas a la Dirección is not the first time Granma has included letters from readers in the newspaper, but most of these sections were more focused on a certain topic, such as economic statistics or transportation and infrastructure.[6] An exception was A vuelta de correo, which began in 1975 and continued until 1984. Like Cartas a la Dirección, A vuelta de correo included questions from the Cuban public that brought attention to various issues, as well as occasional responses by the government. However, these letters were much less specific than those found in Cartas a la Dirección, and were frequently redacted.[6]

EditorsEdit

  • 1965-1967 Isidoro Malmierca
  • 1967-1987 Jorge Enrique Mendoza
  • 1987-1990 Enrique Román
  • 1990-1995 Jacinto Granda
  • 1995-2005 Frank Agüero
  • 2005-2013 Lázaro Barredo
  • 2013–present Pelayo Terry

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ James W. Carty Jr.; Janet Liu Terry (1976), "Cuban Communicators", Caribbean Quarterly, University of the West Indies, 22 (4: Mass Media in the Caribbean): 59–67, doi:10.1080/00086495.1976.11829278, ISSN 2470-6302, JSTOR 23050564
  2. ^ a b c Aguirre, B. E. (November 1984). "The Conventionalization of Collective Behavior in Cuba". American Journal of Sociology. 90 (3): 541–566. doi:10.1086/228116. S2CID 143027856.
  3. ^ Lugo, Jairo (2008). The Media In Latin America. McGraw-Hill International. p. 122. ISBN 9780335222018.
  4. ^ Dickson, Thomas (July 1988). "The Role of the Cuban Press in International Political Communication: "Granma Weekly Review" and Castro's U.S. Policy": 60. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ a b "¿Quiénes somos? › Granma - Official voice of the PCC". en.granma.cu.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Dimitrov, Martin K. (10 April 2019). "The Functions of Letters to the Editor in Reform-Era Cuba". Latin American Research Review. 54 (1): 1–15. doi:10.25222/larr.232.

External linksEdit