Saturday, November 24, 2007

ENH Spikes column critical of columnist

Herald Watch has learned that El Nuevo Herald has spiked a column which was set to be published today. The column allegedly took issue with a recent column by ENH columnist Alejandro Armengol, who is largely hated by the Cuban exile community in Miami for his views on Cuba and exiles.

The spiked response was written by Nestor Diaz de Villegas, a contributor to a Spanish-language anti-Castro blog called Penúltimos Días. Below is a translation of an email allegedly sent by Andres Hernandez, coordinator of El Nuevo Herald's opinion page, to Diaz de Villegas advising him that the column would not be running.

Subject: RE: artículo de Néstor, para viernes o sábado
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 20:22:21 -0500
From: “Hernandez, Andres - Miami”
To: Néstor” “Díaz” de Villegas


Sorry, but I held back the column because at the paper we saw a blog called Penúltimos Días that had announced the publishing of your column this Saturday, saying something like don't miss Nestor's column this Saturday in El Nuevo Herald, where he takes on Armengol, and right now I can't remember what else was said.

It's the the policy of the newspaper not to reveal to other media what we are going to publish, unless the newspaper itself announces it in its pages, as in the case of a special section or something like that.

I want to publish this column, but without any announcement on a blog. Of course, if we publish an article and then later some other media announces it, there is no problem.

I hope you understand and thanks,



A few notes. First of all this "policy" doesn't seem to apply to El Nuevo's sister paper, The Miami Herald. Several times I have noted here that a certain article was going to appear and the paper did not spike it. For example I recently tipped readers that the Herald was going to publish a letter I wrote the Ombudsman. Also, I tipped readers about a corruption investigation that was going to be running in a series of Herald articles. In neither case did the announcement, ahead of time, on a blog cause the editors to spike the pieces in question. In fact, in the latter case, I believe the story was intentionally leaked to Herald Watch to promote the series.

Not only that, El Nuevo Herald certainly did not spike the Marti Moonlighters story in September of 2006 even though Cuban state TV had learned of the story and had begun promoting it.

At best this seems like a weak excuse to cover for a last minute change of heart about publishing a column critical of one ENH's own columnists.

We'll be watching.

1 comment:

TOTS said...

Yes, well, my admiration for Nuevo Herald and the people ostensibly in charge of its operation grows by the day. If they just manage to hire a few more ex-Granma "reporters" and employ the services of Oscar Corral as a "goodwill gesture," I could hardly ask for anything more.