Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Missed Translation

There is a Spanish language newspaper here in Chicagoland called Reflejos. It used to be owned by Jerry Campagna. He sold it to The Daily Herald in 2000, and remained on the Herald staff until he resigned in June of this year.

Ad Week describes Reflejos as “a bilingual weekly with audited distribution approaching 100,000 in the Chicago area, making it the country’s largest Hispanic-targeted suburban paper.” Jerry’s dad is Italian, his mom is Cuban. The family business was beer distribution.

Jerry is a champion of illegal immigrants’ rights, once writing a column for the Herald explaining that the “spanking” Congressmen received in the November 2006 election was due to their tough stance on illegal aliens. (Funny, I don’t recall anything written by Jerry when public outrage stopped the Senate from slipping through their comprehensive immigration reform earlier this year.)

Anyway….The Daily Herald and Reflejos share stories from time-to-time. I picked up a copy of Reflejos 19 de augosto de 2007 edition because it had a photo of Elvira on the cover.

As it turns out, the article was by Tara Malone, the same reporter who covered Elvira for the Herald. And the photos were by Daniel White. It was the same story, EXCEPT….

The Reflejos version had a front page photo of Elvira with the church altar in the background. If you include the headline, it will all fit nicely in an 8 x 10 frame.

The other thing I missed in the Reflejos version was the little sidebar of quotes from those opposed to her stunt. It was a puny little box buried in the back on the Herald story, but it was missing altogether in the Reflejos version.

I’m trying to picture the editorial layout meeting where they decided to leave out the other view on this issue. Reminiscent of Elvira’s handler destroying letters of opposition, did they say, “They don’t need to see these.”

Perhaps they were doing what Hugo Chavez is doing in Venezuela, censoring the opposition. Maybe that’s it. In an effort to mimic third world culture for their readers, they are acting like the press acts in the totalitarian regimes that many Latinos still call home.

Reflejos is simply printing what their readers want to see, rather than what they need to know.

And another thing, they left out the photo of Saulito holding Daisy the dog in front of the altar.

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