Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » Bienvenido -- what does the word mean to you?


Because others may have thoughts on the subject, I thought I'd share a letter to the editor set to publish soon on our President Clinton coverage and on a Spanish word used in Wednesday's front-page headline.

I appreciated all of your thoughts regarding my previous post. The letter and my response follow:


Dear Editor/Publisher,
Why is the Victoria Advocate running it's front page title in Spanish? Is the Advocate a mainstream publication for the English-speaking public or a niche market hispanic publication? If the Advocate is determined to undermine the English-speaking majority of it's subscribers, I will no longer be a subscriber. Perhaps the Advocate should consider relocating to Mexico.
Bill Clinton's campaign stop in Victoria to promote his wife's candidacy is not an event to be worshipful about. He is a former president who was impeached and disgraced for lying under earth. He is well-known for being less than truthful in many public statements. Why is the Advocate treating him like a hero? He deserves no such welcome or fanfare.
Thank you for writing and supporting your hometown newspaper.
If I may, I'd like to respond personally to your questions. First, yes, the Advocate is a mainstream publication. We consider our audience to be everyone who lives in the Crossroads region. We chose the word "bienvenido" for our front-page headline Wednesday because Clinton and Obama had focused so much of their Texas campaign on reaching Hispanic voters. The former president underscored this by bringing the co-founder of the Farm Workers Union, who addressed the audience in Spanish.
We certainly recognize that most of our readers speak and read English. We chose this particular Spanish word because, along with the attraction of alliteration, it is fairly common and easily understood by English-speakers, particularly in the context in which it was used.
In terms of the coverage given the former president, we considered it appropriate because national figures do not commonly visit Victoria. Only one other president has ever been here. Our news coverage of Clinton does not reflect support or opposition to his performance as president or his campaign for his wife.
I hope this helps explain the thinking that went into our coverage. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have other questions or suggestions.
Chris Cobler
Victoria Advocate