During the first decade of the 21st century, Bolivia’s “classic” newspapers have disappeared. Preference for tabloid-size print media was one of the reasons for the extinction of Presencia, the Catholic daily that, since the 1950s, had been the morning paper with the largest national circulation. Ultima Hora, an afternoon paper turned morning tabloid, also disappeared, unable to survive the death of its owner, Mario Mercado. Hoy was born a tabloid but also closed its doors, making room for the new leading opinion papers: La Razón (later acquired by Grupo Prisa) and La Prensa, established as a result of the resignation of La Razón’s founding managers. A new group of journalists, unhappy with the management and political positions of these leading La Paz newspapers, founded Página Siete, perhaps now the most influential independent daily. Only two of Bolivia’s older papers remain: Jornada, which was always a marginal paper because of its sensationalism, and El Diario, which was founded in 1904 and prides itself on being the “dean of the Bolivian press,” although its sales are for the most part guaranteed by its classified ads sections. The biweekly Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno is undoubtedly the foremost independent medium for political, economic, social, and cultural analysis.


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