Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

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A jewel of Cuban journalism.

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 2 septiembre, 2018

A day like today, but from the year 1828, the first issue of the newspaper La Aurora of Matanzas is published. In its years of existence, between 1828 and 1857, La Aurora evidenced the development of the city with its lights and shadows. In its pages is the infrastructural and architectural progress of the city, the great port movement and the wide cultural movement that was taking place in Matanzas, but also in this newspaper is evidence of slavery, in the advertisements for sale, purchase, rent and slave running away.

The newspaper supported the interests of the classes economically and politically and it is recognized as a pro-government and partisan newspaper, which arises from the class-based replay latent within its owner, the Patriotic Deputation.

This newspaper was a provincial publication,  and it surprises the variety of topics that it addressed. The newspaper was the vehicle used by the Patriotic Council to publicize the main advances in science and technology. In Matanzas the years passed and the city was transforming its appearance. The inauguration of the Public Library, the paving of the streets, the construction of the new Market Square, the restoration or inauguration of bridges, the arrival of the railway, the blessing of the Pueblo Nuevo church, the transformations in the Square of Arms  and the installation of gas lighting are some examples collected in La Aurora.

However, the newspaper crossed borders and made known the reality of the rest of Cuba and also offered international events, especially those that occurred in Spain.

The subscribers were fundamental in understanding how their journalists achieved the news quality of the news. It was written to please specific audiences. At first, to the Creole landowners, the middle class of the city that knew how to read and write and especially to the peninsular merchants, who looked for in the newspaper the opportune notice, the arrival of a ship, the expected business or the good purchase, hence the convenience of subscribing. The newspaper, to pay for its exit, to subsist, needed these subscribers.

In fact, La Aurora de Matanzas had moments of crisis in which it was forced to introduce fragments of novels by delivery that could be cut and collected, especially to attract the female audience. The high number of editors and collaborators that it had in the different years also contributed to it transcending in time. Both editors and collaborators took pains to conceive a product with high attributes, writing writings on public improvements in the city or publishing background articles on the most diverse topics.

 

Another important element that influenced his exquisite bill was that at this time there was no radio or television and the publication of books was expensive. Therefore, the newspaper was the propitious medium from where the great intellectuals and personalities of the culture made known their writings, poems, narrations and works in a general sense.

 

 

For its time and considering its design it was very elegant, refined and of an extraordinary quality. Throughout the time La Aurora of  Matanzas used different typographies, various headings, vignettes and ornaments. In terms of technology, the publication revolutionized the local printing press, as it introduced typographical improvements. The newspaper evidences the dedication of typographers to achieve a product of excellence, a careful impression, an achievement in typographic architecture, the achievement of brilliance in work, the exquisiteness in details, the improvement of the accessory: paper, types and ink, which make the publication 190 years after its release is preserved as a jewel of Cuban journalism.

 

 

 

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