Puerto Rico: English-language newspaper San Juan Star closes

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tren Urbano at Bayamón Station.

This is from August 29th:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The San Juan Star, Puerto Rico's Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language newspaper, closed Friday, the owner said, blaming the union for not agreeing to benefit cuts and layoffs to offset declining revenue.
The Star, a daily that has operated for nearly 50 years in the U.S. island territory, published its last edition Friday, publisher Gerry Angulo said.
The newspaper, which once employed Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy as its managing editor, had 120 employees, about 90 of them union members, including reporters and photographers.
Angulo said the Star has been losing money for years but the situation worsened with a recession in Puerto Rico and the broader decline in newspaper readership and advertising.
"I'm not going to subsidize the paper," he said. "The paper has to hold its own."
The Star, which opened in 1959, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1961 for a series of editorials criticizing Roman Catholic bishops for interfering in the race for governor in the island. The paper published a Spanish-language edition from 1997 to 2007.
Here's the current situation re: newspapers in Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico still has three major Spanish-language newspapers and several smaller ones, as well as a weekly business newspaper in English.
It's these small stories here and there about increasing Spanish-language media in the southern United States and nearby areas that convinces me that English will never quite reach the state of a world language. I could see a very widespread basic competency in the language, but this would be similar to the state of Latin education until about a century ago - widespread, shallow, and quickly forgotten if the situation were to change.


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