Just How Bad is the Spanish Football Press?

As is BadIn Spain, you have a number of daily newspapers that are dedicated to sports alone, and as expected, mainly focusing on football and generally of very poor quality. One of my pet peeves about Spanish football journalism is how these papers will use quotes in headlines that, plain and simple, are not exact quotes, and thus, by definition, not quotes.

As anyone with a minimal level of education should have learned, when words are placed within quotation marks and attributed to a person, those words must be the exact words of the person they are being attributed to, and they should not merely reflect or summarize the meaning of what was said or written.

This simple fact is completely lost on the editors of the Spanish football press. Here is a example from a headline in today’s As.com:

Tito: “A 18 puntos del Madrid, yo no estaría aquí”

[Translation: Tito: “18 points behind Madrid, I wouldn’t be here”]

Underneath its reads,

“Lo tengo claro. Si la situación fuera al revés yo no estaría respondiendo esta pregunta”, dijo el técnico del Barcelona.”

[Translation: “It’s clear to me. If the situation were reversed, I wouldn’t be responding to this question” …]

But when you click through to the article and you can another headline:

Tito: “Si yo estuviera a 18 puntos del Madrid, no estaría aquí”

[Translation: “If I were 18 points behind Madrid, I wouldn’t be here”]

followed by the actual quote:

[Question:] Real Madrid, a menos 18. ¿Hay que descartar al Madrid?: [Answer] “No. Eso sí. Esta pregunta, si fuera la situación al revés, yo no la estaría contestando.

[Translation: Q: Real Madrid, 18 points behind. Is Madrid out of contention? A: No. But yes, if the questions was reversed, I wouldn’t be responding”]

So you get three different versions of the headline in quotes, and yet in the actual quote (assuming it is correct) nowhere does Tito Vilanova say “I wouldn’t be here” or “it’s clear to me” even if that is what he meant.

If you want to paraphrase, you don’t use quotes. Plain and simple. Quotation marks mean the exact opposite of what they are used for by the likes of As, Marca, Sport and El Mundo Deportivo.

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Filed under Football/Soccer, Living la vida española

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