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Vigilados: Surveillance of foreign press correspondents during the Spanish Transition to democracy

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This article analyses the attempts made by regime authorities – and in particular the Ministry of Information and Tourism (MIT) – to supervise foreign correspondents based in Spain during the months following the death of Franco. It also reveals the professional profile and background of those reporters charged with relaying the Transition and the difficulties they encountered in their coverage of events. The article examines the delicate nature of the foreign reporters’ news agenda in Madrid, analyses their modus operandi and commitment to the story and highlights how these reporters were under constant surveillance by MIT officials in post-Francoist Spain. It concludes by attempting to weigh the contribution of the foreign journalists to Spanish democratic regeneration. The article forms part of a wider research project on the international press and the Transition funded by the Spanish Ministry for Education, which involved field research in Paris, Rome, London, New York and at the Spanish National Archives in Madrid, as well as interviews with surviving foreign correspondents.
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Keywords: Franco; Spain; Transition; democracy; foreign correspondents; press

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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