The front page of Página/12 April 12, 2011.
|Owner(s)||Editorial La Página S.A.|
|Political alignment||Centre-left, Progressivism|
|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
Página/12 was founded on May 25, 1987, by journalist Jorge Lanata in association with writer Osvaldo Soriano and investigative journalist Horacio Verbitsky. Owned by Fernando Sokolowicz, a former militant in the far-left ERP insurgency active during the early 1970s, the daily was bailed out financially in 1994 by Grupo Clarín, which retained a stake. Lanata claimed in a 2007 interview that businessman Rudy Ulloa (a business partner of the late former President Néstor Kirchner) also owned a share.
Among Pagina/12's leading writers are the investigative journalist and author Horacio Verbitsky; historian Osvaldo Bayer; political scientist José Natanson; football journalist, novelist and comic author Juan Sasturain; and Uruguayan journalist and writer Eduardo Galeano.
The name of the paper comes from the fact that its preliminary editions as it was being developed had 12 pages. Reportedly the writer and journalist Osvaldo Soriano, upon seeing the first edition, remarked that it didn't look like a less respectable newspaper. The name had already been chosen, thus the publishers opted to reserve the twelfth page for reports or news stories of central importance.
Another version holds that the paper was going to be called "Reporter" but when the owners went to register the name, they were told that the name was taken. They then decided to count the number of pages in order to choose a name.
With a stark design, a daily circulation of 10,000 copies and a size of 16 pages that doubled within a few weeks, the paper was a sharp contrast with other Argentinian newspapers due to its progressive orientation, its in-depth articles (each one occupying more than a page on average) and rich analysis. Inspired by the French paper Libération, its style contrasted with the conventional Argentine press, where a higher priority was placed on showcasing a wide variety of information as opposed to more probing reports.
The editorial staff included a great number of renowned journalists, such as Horacio Verbitsky, writers Tomás Eloy Martínez, Osvaldo Soriano and José María Pasquini Durán, Juan Gelman, Eduardo Galeano, Osvaldo Bayer, Rodrigo Fresán, Alan Pauls, Juan Forn, Eduardo Berti, Ernesto Tenembaum, Homero Alsina Thevenet, José Pablo Feinmann, Juan Sasturain Miguel Repiso (Rep) who since the release of first edition has been in charge of illustrating the back cover and various sections of the paper, have been regular contributors. The first manager was Jorge Lanata, later replaced by Ernesto Tiffenberg.
Página/12 established a style that was later imitated by others, particularly insofar as its promotion of reading. Many of its Sunday editions in the 1990s contained a free book as a gift. In this way, the publication initiated the promotion of an enormous collection of classic literature, in particular authors such as Haroldo Conti and Rodolfo Walsh who, along with their works, had been victims of the military dictatorship of the 1970s.
Relationship to the Kirchner governments
It has been noted[by whom?] that the newspaper maintains an editorial line favorable to the governments of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. When Julio Nudler, who was the head of the economic department of Página/12, impeached the chief of the Kirchner cabinet with corruption allegations in 2004 the directorate of Página/12 refused to publish an article of Nudler. Nudler accused Página/12 of censorship and criticized his colleague Horacio Verbitsky for playing down the allegations.
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