Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Arrese, Á. (Ángel); Breiner, J.G. (James Gerard). "Spain’s «national character» in «The Economist»". Communication & Society. 36 (4), 2023, 21 - 34
The image of a country conveyed by the international media is increasingly important in a globalised and interdependent world. Some of these international outlets have a special role to play in this process, and the British weekly The Economist is certainly one of them. For more than a century and a half, the publication founded by James Wilson in 1843 has been a reference for politicians, opinion leaders and businessmen around the world. For this reason, it is of particular interest to understand the magazine’s special way of contextualising news events in different latitudes from the perspective of each country’s ‘national character.’ From this perspective, we analyze the image of Spain offered by The Economist throughout its history from the understanding of the interest that has always had for the professionals of the British weekly the interpretation of current affairs in the context of the so-called ‘national character’ of a country. After the thematic analysis of nine supplements on Spain published by the weekly between 1972 and 2018, six features have been highlighted that would consistently configure the ‘national character’ of this country for the weekly. These six traits are: a country in transition; a diverse country; a festive, hospitable and tolerant country; a country with an inefficient administration; a country with a weak economy; and an artistic and unscientific country. A better understanding of these stable features can be of great importance for better managing a country’s international projection.