Cultural publication 'flirts with the Dark Side' in Spain

El Pais announces the alliance on its website.
(Updated Aug. 22, 2015; versión en español)


The iconoclastic Spanish culture magazine Jot Down is a strange creature in many ways. At a time when people supposedly read little and do it rapidly, it publishes long interviews and essays.

In an age of minute-by-minute updates and clickbait, Jot Down makes its money by charging about US$16.75 for each copy of its massive 320-page quarterly, which carries only two or three pages of advertising.

Another oddity: its target market is not the famous millennials so sought after by many media but rather more-mature folks in their 40s and 50s. It is an edgy publication that attracts people “who think of themselves as young,” says publisher Angel Fernandez, 44, who co-founded it four years ago.

Marriage of convenience

Surprisingly, it is viable, profitable, and growing. But possibly strangest of all, it has just reached agreement to share its content with one of the media icons of Spain, in fact a symbol of much of what Jot Down criticizes about traditional media, namely El Pais. Ironically, several of the magazine’s contributors were laid off by El Pais during the long economic downturn and have not hesitated to bash their former employer.
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