Spanish daily El País launches digital Portuguese edition

Renowned Spanish daily El País, which circulates throughout Europe and Latin America, launched on Nov. 26 its new Portuguese digital edition in an attempt to strengthen its presence in Brazil.

With an initial investment of 2.5 million euros a year, offices in São Paulo and a team of 12 journalists under the leadership of Luis Prados -- head of the news team in El País Américas -- the Brazilian version will feature columnists like Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, Paulo Coelho, Eliane Brum, Luís Ruffato and Juan Arias, according to Meio e Mensagem. Its launching story was an interview with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on June's mass protests and the U.S. spying scandal.

Besides publishing its own stories, the news site will also contain translated content from journalists from all over the world and international columnists like Mario Vargas Llosa and Rosa Montero.

According to the newspaper, Brazil is a strategic market since many Brazilian users visit their Spanish site every day. The newspaper's Brazilian edition will compliment El País' plans to expand throughout Latin America, which began in March last year. "To truly become the global Ibero-American newspaper, we needed to express ourselves in both languages," said Juan Luis Cebrián, president of communications group Prisa, owner of El País.

Cebrián also said the Portuguese version will only have a digital edition. "It's the first time we will make a digital-only newspaper from scratch. There will be no paper version, and if it were to exist, which is unlikely, it would be a compliment to the digital edition," he said.

El País is the latest international media outlet to announce its interest in the Brazilian market. The New York Times is planning to launch a Portuguese version in 2014 and the Financial Times already has one.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.