10.4185/RLCS-2017-1169en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 72-2017 | |
Political opinion in the Spanish newspapers. Analysis of the period General Elections campaign in Spain, 2015
Traducción de S Eliadou
1. Introduction 
The article that follows is the result of the part of the doctorate project of the first signed titled "Political opinion, mediatizing democracies. The storytelling of political opinion in the Spanish media and the new transmedia scenarios for social action". It has special relevance, in it epistemic analysis, the study of the written press; In order to make visible the processes, the roles and the actors that take part in the production of the opinion on the published politics.
The rise and consolidation of the journalistic genre of opinion, which expands in multiple media and formats of the Spanish media system, has been accompanied by what I once considered as an "omnipresent referentiality of opinion-makers". These have become indispensable figures to understand the mass media and specifically the performance of the journalistic work. Authorized for their presumed vision and expertise, due to their media repercussions or their professional expertise, they occupy a growing ground in the Spanish media system that seems to want to cover a common minimum unifying opinions for large audiences.
The newspaper has been, and continues to be, a key space not only in the dissemination of facts, but also, and more and more especially, as an entity endorsed by public opinion to participate in the debate of ideas and social beliefs in all the areas. In this line, Paloma Abejón (2013) recovered in her study what years ago Jorge de Esteban (1976) ensured, in a shared vision with W. Abendroth and K. Lenk (1971), that among the main functions of the press is that of "channeling, awakening and fomenting the formation of opinion". It is especially this idea of "channeling" the one that comes into debate with the inherent and growing need that society demands to be informed in a globalized and hyperconnected world, where the citizen is no longer an isolated receptor.
In this conception the study has been developed, which wants to highlight what, in other times, it was an intuition: the opinion on politics in the Spanish written press it’s in the hands of a very small group of opinion-makers, who at the same time deal with a small group of topics and that they do it with an omnipresent frequency in the daily agenda and in an increasingly politicized way.
In summary, the research presented makes an analysis of the opinion published in Spain by the opinion-makers of the five newspapers of general information, with state disemination and with greater circulation in the context of the period of the General Elections in Spain in 2015.
2. Theoretical framework
Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuściński pointed out in a conversation with the journalist Iñaki Gabilondo in 2007 that, in his perspective, the mass media are more than the fourth power that many turn to. He pointed out that in the role of politics it becomes increasingly relevant when we see insurgents and coup makers changing the target of attacks to parliaments and governments, in order to be done, in the first place, with the control of radio transmissions, television or newsrooms. In 'The Empire', Kapuściński illustrated this thought with the following words:
Far from the reflections of the Polish intellectual is the theory of participatory democracy in which a polis was constituted where the power of decision and action resided in the community, in the purest style of what the "founding fathers" of the American nation embodied in their Constitution. The contemporary society is an extremely complex and changing entity in which multiple actors interact under many diverse conditions. Lippman (1920) concludes that the 'Great Society' in which we live "radically challenges our capacity for understanding, because what the citizen knows about the events that concern him, he knows it by second, third or fourth hand. He can no longer go and observe for himself. "
In this space, Lippman understands that individuals are related and act together in an environment that is no longer the visible world of households, neighborhoods, and communities. It is an invisible environment that needs to receive information and where media should acquire the role of suppliers, although they end up elucidating an informative pseudo-environment  plagued of dubious news "with no requirement for reliability, credibility test or punishment for perjury" (Lippman, 1920).
The last decades have been a testimony of a global level of great social, political, economic and cultural changes. The traditional media are now in a permanent state of "check" in the continuum of transformations that they experience at all levels. The technological convergence of the digital world stimulates a deep reflection on the routines that concretely challenge the profession of journalism. What, in their days, McCombs and Shaw presented us as "the market of the ideas", seems that, and from its purest capitalist logic, those who came out winning were again the great wholesalers; In this case, of information. Chomsky (1992) constructed his own vision -of what would later be verified- about the link of the theory of agenda-setting beyond its function of thematic computer of the present:
In this context, the large Spanish media groups have burst into public debate through their gurus, experts, consultants and opinion-makers . These have now become "authentic factories of opinion-makers who nurture the Spanish news landscape and nourish themselves by their own opinion-makers, leaving little room for independent opinion-makers" (Abejón Mendoza, 2013).
Similarly to the above ideas, the recent "Report on democracy in Spain 2015" published by Fundación Alternativas, shows us how the evaluation of the press and plurality of information in the period 2008-2015 has evolved. Although slight recovery along 2014 is experienced, both indicators are moving in fairly low levels throughout the period:
Graphic 1. Evolution of the value of the press and the plurality of information in Spain (2008-2015)
Source: Fundación Alternativas, in the Report on democracy in Spain 2015.
If from this short frame we focus on the journalistic genre of opinion and more specifically on the opinion on politics in the written press, this is more likely today the manifestation of "a very particular and urgent ideological perspective, emotional, and through which an opinion is expressed for any subject” (Casals, 2004). We are facing a selected group of actors belonging to the elites, as understood by the definition of Rocher (1971):
These elites have a great organizational and constructivist capacity for discourse, causing "effective political disturbances that influence the political decision-making processes" (Higley & Burton, 2003).
The recent report elaborated by the University of Oxford and published by the "Reuters Institute for the study of journalism" concludes with concern that the media in Spain are the least credible of the eleven European countries consulted and the second country less credible to world level, above only of the United States. However, according to the same report the Spaniards are the ones who demonstrate the most interest in the news: 85%. The data collected by the study shows that only 34% of Spanish citizens trust in the news published in the media and only 46% (at the end of the study line) in the news published by the media of habitual consultation of the citizens, as the following chart shows:
Graphic 2. Confidence levels on the news in the media (all countries)
Source: Reuters Institute for the study of journalism.
Depending on the data, it is essential to reflect on the space occupied by the genre of opinion in today's journalism and in the global media in Spain. Faced with a proven loss of credibility of the citizenship for the journalistic product in general, we encounter a growing interpellation of the spaces of debate, discussion, columns of opinion or articles of analysis in some media that they increasingly tend to tell their audiences "about the thought and not about what to think" (Cohen, 1963).
Van Dijk himself (2010), recovered from (Vásquez Patiño and Peña Tamayo, 2012) reflects on the framework of cultural, social, aesthetic and technical interrelations that the press presumes. In this sense, the newspapers infer in the construction of the political culture of the countries by being pieces in a permanent thrust within the cultural industry. He also adds that both the news and the opinion articles of the newspapers, are pieces "constructed by the epistemic elites that can be studied at the Critical Epistemic Analysis of Discourse, while they are conceived as primary sources of non-empirical knowledge of the citizens and even members of other elites."
Following the approach of the Dutch academic, he believes that "the discourse is about people, and therefore, it is crucial to elucidate the question on how it portrays people, which identities and roles are attributed to them, which relations are drawn between them, which affiliations are described, etc.". All this leads Vásquez Patiño and Peña Tamayo (2012) to consider that Van Dijk guides us to a description of the spaces that lead to the recognition of the position of "us" and "them", between members of the same group and the other groups. For them, such interrelation entails the possibility of discovering the ideological character of the enunciator.
Noam Chomsky, a few years ago (2002), warned us that the press had increasingly become the primar instrument of manipulating information, biased communication and economic, political and ideological pressure. Faced with this, the academic acknowledged that because of its possibilities of access to the surrounding reality from serenity and reflection, it was not enough to censor it by negative dispositions of its consumers, rather they should adopt an attitude of "critical suspicion" and of systematic analysis of its contents.
In order to conclude this chapter it is essential to define the theoretical context in relation to the journalistic pieces that the investigation presented has analyzed: the opinion article.
Following the elementary classification of the journalistic genres of Moreno Espinosa (2003), between "those who make facts known, who use the expository, descriptive and narrative way and those who make ideas known, that basically use the argumentative way", we concentrate on the second group where Martin Vivaldi (1981) proposed a definition that we believe to be complete when he refers to a "text of a very large and varied content, of a very diverse and varied way, in which a fact or a current idea of special importance is interpreted, valued or explained, according to the conviction of the writer. "
Taking this definition, Antónia do Carmo Barrigo (2014) considers that we could classify the opinion-makers into three broad categories: "those who exercise a political/partisan activity; those who exercise a qualified activity (business, technical, academic, cultural), and those who have a regular presence in the media (in terms of time/seniority and frequency/assiduity) depending on the value of the opinion they transmit”. It is in this last profile that the academic considers the differentiation of two groups: the first one formed by the journalists (directors, sub-directors and prestigious journalists) and a second group which is defined as "actors that acquire and reinforce social and media visibility through the opinion spaces (the latter may have associations to the previous categories)."
In relation to the structures that follow -according to their content- about the different opinion articles, Cantavella (2000) proposes four models:
To conclude, Ortega y Gasset pointed out in "The rebellion of the masses" (1930) that the idea turned out to be a “check” to the truth:
Such thoughtful reflections seem to have been diluted over time by the need for the use of the word by opinion makers  who are increasingly postulated as accredited "experts" to participate in the public debate. Toni Aira, an expert in political communication, pointed out in his doctoral thesis (2010):
It is in this line, that we propose the present study on the opinion article, which not only focuses its analysis on the perspective of the information and knowledge structure that it proposes, but also seeks to deepen in the power relations established by its dynamics of publication.
3. Objectives and methodology
The main objective of the present article is to map and analyze the opinion on politics in the Spanish written press of generalist character and with national circulation; also, the profile of its opinion-makers, the media / communication groups who disseminate their reflections and issues that raise opinion in the General Elections in Spain within the period of 2015. This is an original approach that concerns the issue of General Elections of 2015 and allows evaluating the construction of public opinion by the written press. For this, we have opted for a basically quantitative analysis and based on methodologies of content analysis of opinion articles (Martínez Rodríguez, 2011). As Krippendorff (2004) proposes, we have worked essentially in the line of a content analysis with the purpose of constructing valid inferences and framing the context in which the articles are presented.
To know who is involved in the Spanish written press in the electoral period referred, which professional sectors they represent, which ideological position they hold in relation to the issues dealt with during the electoral period, which debates are promoted in the whole of their opinions. We analyze the links that are established according to the topics proposed by the opinion-makers and in relation to the editorial lines of the newspapers, in which a notable contribution to the establishment of the thematic agenda is represented. These are the main points that the article presents from an analysis that goes beyond the "semiotic understanding of discourse and the pragmatism between sender and recipient" (Casals, 2004). The emitters, opinators in our context, are the protagonists of the word and at the same time observers of what they consider to be possible. To understand their ideological commitments as social agents and deepen the study of how they are seen in the context of the media space is the focus of the progress of the results achieved.
The methodological dimensions that have been followed in the development of this research are defined by:
The newspapers have been selected following the General Media Study (October 2015 to May 2016)  and taking as reference the first five printed media of general information and with a coverage integrated throughout the Spanish State. They have also been contrasted with the data of the platform O.J.D. (Office of Dissemination Justification) in the period analyzed for bigger reliability of the election and with a matching result. In this sense, headlines such as El Periódico or La Voz de Galicia have been discarded from the analysis by failing to meet this premise of state coverage.
In addition, these five newspapers "draw an arch, which would go from El País to Abc, that practically covers all the ideological options of political representation in our country" (López García 2004: 15).
Table 1. Selected printed media of general information
Source: General Media Survey (EGM) October 2015 - May 2016.
It should be noted that the collection and analysis of the editorials of the newspapers under study have been discarded since it was considered that we could not equate the opinion versed by the director of the newspaper with the opinion-makers of the media. The editorials "reserve the power to translate the language of the facts reported in the press, unintelligible to the non-specialized, in terms of general comprehensibility" (Moreno Espinosa, 2003) and by their characteristics "enclose a relationship of dialogue with the State, although formally they are addressed to public opinion "(Marques de Melo, 1985) and, therefore, the representative voices of each newspaper have been analyzed by the firm.
In relation to the working method, this has been based on the development of the following phases:
Table 2. Frequency of articles analyzed in the media of the sample
Source: Own elaboration.
Figure 1. Database of fields compiled for the analysis
The set of authors that write during the period in the whole of the five printed newspapers ascends to 627; 540 of them being men (H), 86 women (M) and 1 anonymous (A). In the following table they are represented by newspaper:
Table 3. Opinion-makers of the sample by gender and newspaper
Source: Own elaboration
Table 4. Articles of the sample by gender and newspaper
Source: Own elaboration
Figure 2. Database of categories of the analyzed subjects
Of all the 1818 articles analyzed, 873 belong to the opinion section of the five media. Of these, those who do not deal with political issues have been coded with the "ta0" to be able to remove them later from the analysis with political content. As a result, the total opinion articles dealing with political issues are 1600, where 655 belong to the opinion section and 945 are encountered in other sections of the newspapers as shown in the following table:
Table 5. Politics articles from the 'opinion section' of the newspapers
Source: Own elaboration
Within the framework of this thematic coding, the code "id" has been used to identify those articles that contained indicators of an insulting tone or demagogue. Following what the RAE defines as "the offense towards someone with their words", in relation to the insult; Or how to "win over the popular favor with flattery" referring to demagogy, the articles have been coded according to the guidelines previously described in relation to the theme that they raised and adding the code "id" in case of identifying those markers.
4. Results and analysis
In the analyzed period specified from December 4, 2015 to January 4, 2016 (campaign and post-campaign period of the General Elections of December 20, 2015), a total of 627 opinion-makers have participated as opinion-makers. Of these, 540 are men (86%), 86 are women (14%) and one signs as anonymous.
The 627 opinion-makers produced a total of 1818 opinion articles within the 32-day period in the whole of the five newspapers analyzed. Of these 1818 articles of opinion, 873 (48%) are located in the actual sections of opinion of each newspaper and 945 (52%) in other sections of the newspaper. Of these last ones only those dealing with issues related to political aspects have been compiled, unlike the first that have been compiled in their entirety. Therefore, in relation to the 873 (48%) articles located in the opinion sections, it should be noted that 218 (25%) do not deal with political issues and 655 (75%) do. The following table lists the location of the articles in each newspaper:
Table 6. Location of opinion articles about politics
Source: Own elaboration.
From the data presented in the above table, it should be noted that, although newspapers have a section specifically for opinion, four of the five newspapers publish more opinion articles outside that section than inside. Specifically, the case of El País stands out where only 23% of the opinion articles, on political issues, appear integrated in the opinion section.
It is an interesting fact in the analysis to detect the sections where the articles of opinion analyzed are more frequently published when they do not appear in the opinion section itself. In this sense, the following table shows the 'TOP10' of these sections according to their frequency of publication in the whole of the five newspapers:
Table 7. 'TOP10' on the location of articles published outside the opinion section
Source: Own elaboration.
As can be seen, the first four sections are closely linked to the space of the newspapers for the political-social analysis of the State, or, as in the case "Spain (Elections 20D)", to the electoral period itself. The back cover space is used repeatedly for the publication of short articles in the format of columns and especially by El Mundo, El País and Abc.
If from the same perspective we analyze the pages of the newspapers with a greater frequency of publication of articles of opinion about politics, we find that their first pages usually have a greater load in relation to the interior or final pages as can be seen in the table:
Table 8. 'TOP10' on the location of the articles in the pages of each newspaper
Source: Own elaboration.
The uniformity in the publication of the opinion on politics in the first pages of the newspapers El Mundo, La Razón, Abc and El País is remarkable; although the last two use more advanced pages (from 12 to 16) more frequently in the global count. It is noteworthy that in the case of La Vanguardia the logic that we can see in the other four newspapers is not followed. In this case the articles appear more distributed along the pages of the newspaper and mainly pages 23 to 29 are used. Also note the remarkable concentration of articles between pages 2 to 15, which exceeds 44% of the published entirety.
An aspect also noteworthy is the frequency of publication of the articles according to the temporal space within the 32 days analyzed. In this sense, the most prominent are the 21st and 22nd of December with a greater frequency of publication in the global count. Not coincidentally, both dates belong to the two days after the elections and the increase of opinion-makers is remarkable as can be seen in the table:
Table 9. 'TOP10' on the frequency of publication by date
Source: Own elaboration.
Also noteworthy is the increase in articles and opinion-makers on December 15, a date that coincides with the day after the face-to-face debate between candidate Mariano Rajoy (PP) and candidate Pedro Sánchez (PSOE). Finally, note that December 17 coincides with the day after the aggression against the candidate Mariano Rajoy by a young man, when he punched him while being on a field trip in the center of the town of Pontevedra (Galicia).
One of the most significant data of the study, and at the same time more worrying, is the little or minimal representation of women in the opinion of the five newspapers. If we check the global data reached, we can see that only 86 of the 627 (14%) of the opinion-makers in the analyzed period are women. In relation to the number of articles the figures are similar, representing a 16% of the number of texts signed by women. The following table shows the numbers for each newspaper and in relation to the total number of women / men (A) and number of articles published (B) in each case:
Table 10. Frequency of publication by gender
Source: Own elaboration.
The case of La Vanguardia stands out where the percentage of participation of opinion-makers in relation to the production of their articles of opinion is substantially smaller in comparison to the other four headers. That means fewer opinion-makers write more articles. It is especially pronounced in the case of the women opinion-makers of La Vanguardia where the variation is of 10 percentage points.
One of the most noteworthy axes of the present investigation is situated in the themes that have aroused the opinion of the whole of the opinion-makers analyzed. In relation to this, and following what was previously described in the section on methodology, a total of 240 issues have been coded about different aspects related to the politics and within the global count of opinion-makers of the five headings under study. These issues have been dealt with, more or less frequently throughout the period as well as with notable differences among the five newspapers. One of the most noteworthy data is that only 13 out of the 240 issues treated by the group of opinion-makers concentrate 51% of the opinion of the period. In other words, 51% of the opinion articles deal with any of these 13 issues; the remaining 49% do so on one of the remaining 228 issues. Below we present the 'TOP25' (representing 72% of the opinion themes) of the most recurrent themes:
Table 11. 'TOP25' of the topics with the highest frequency of opinion 
Source: Own elaboration.
As can be seen, it is very remarkable that 8.6% of the articles of opinion of the period are clearly manifested against the political party Podemos and / or its candidate Pablo Iglesias. Likewise, the Syrian conflict and jihadist terrorism (5.3%) stand out with high percentages; Government formation and pacts policy (5%); Issues related to the Catalan process (4.8%); or, for example, it stands out the 3.3% support to the Popular Party and / or its candidate Mariano Rajoy, or the 3.1% of articles of opinion against the candidate Pedro Sánchez and / or the PSOE.
It is interesting to note from the presented scale some issues that, although they appear with smaller percentages in their global perspective, were important focus points of opinion in specific days of the analyzed period. Specifically, from the 'TOP25' topic 9 about the "Debate of two; face to face in the Spanish TV Academy", theme 11 "The Great debate 7thD", theme 21 on the "Climate change Summit in Paris", item 22 on "The result of a tie in the assembly of the CUP for the investiture of Artur Mas" or item 23 of the "Punching and aggression of a young man on Mariano Rajoy"; all of these configured the main topics of opinion in their respective days in the five headings analyzed.
Also interesting is a more detailed reading of what is presented in the 'TOP25' of subjects and for this reason we have considered appropriate to present the 'TOP13' of the subjects which, as mentioned above, concentrate 51% of the opinons in that period, in relation to their frequency of opinion in each newspaper as shown in the following table:
Table 12. 'TOP13' of the topics with the highest frequency of opinion per newspaper
Source: Own elaboration.
The table above highlights all those percentages that in the comparison with the five newspapers have been treated in a superior way (a greater concentration of opinions). Again, the issue of "Against Podemos and/or Pablo Iglesias" stands out because of its percentage differences, where the percentages are clearly high on the Abc and La Razón newspapers (they concentrate 81.7% of the opinions on this topic). In the topic «Starting the campaign and/or generalities of the electoral campaign" we can see that basically Abc and La Razón are the ones sharing the percentage (84.5%). The seventh topic of the ranking, "In favor of the PP and/or Rajoy", stands out due to the fact that it does not obtain any percentages in the El País and La Vanguardia newspapers and summing up about 84% between Abc and La Razón. To conclude, we consider disparate and remarkable the percentages of the subject that closes the 'TOP13' "Against the CUP"; where about 80% of the opinion is concentrated in the newspapers Abc, El Mundo and La Razón.
On the other hand, we have also highlighted those articles that were clearly demonstrating an insulting tone and/or demagogue. Specifically, we have analyzed the articles of the 73 most frequently published opinion-makers’ articles, which, at the same time, cover 50% of the opinion in the period. In this line, of the 909 articles published by these 73 opinion-makers, 65 (7%) had a clearly insulting tone and/or demagogue. In the following table, a ranking ('TOP6') of the opinion-makers with the most insulting opinion articles and/or demagogues within the analyzed period was created:
Table13. 'TOP6' of the opinion-makers with more articles marked as demagogues and / or insulting
Source: Own elaboration.
It is clearly noticeable that certain opinion-makers have percentages higher than 40% in the writing of articles marked with insulting and/or demagogic opinions. Also a point to emphasize is that of the 73 opinion-makers with the highest frequency of writing during the period, a total of 12 in the Abc, 10 in La Razón, 8 in El Mundo, 1 in El País and none in La Vanguardia wrote at least 1 article of manifested demagogy or insult.
In relation to the opinion-makers with a higher frequency of publication, we have bounded a 'TOP73' according to the 50% of opinion they represent in the period as it can be seen in the following table:
Table 14. 'TOP73' of the opinion-makers with the highest frequency of publication and who concentrate 50% of the opinion of the analyzed period
Source: Own elaboration.
Finally, with the set of data presented previously. we have analyzed the profiles of all the opinion-makers of the 'TOP73' and we conclude the following sociodemographic data:
5. Discussion and conclusions
One of the first conclusions reached by the present research is the relevance that currently the opinion on politics acquires in the five newspapers, after to check the important number of opinion articles that are published daily. On the other hand, it is particularly prominent that in four of the five newspapers (El País, Abc, La Razón and El Mundo) a great percentage of articles are encountered outside of the section of opinion. This leads us to be able to affirm that the opinion on politics in the Spanish written press is disaggregated into the newspaper and that in the section of opinion itself, clearly dominates the one connected with political issues.
On the other hand, the most recurrent sections, where the articles are concentrated are, beyond the opinion section, those linked to the current situation of the country, either in sections such as "Spain", "Politics" or "20D Elections"; as in those of each newspaper such as the "Page 2" section of El País, "Abc" in the newspaper Abc or "La Tercera" in El Mundo. Particularly noteworthy is the importance of the back cover in the publication of articles in the column format and, especially, the low representation of political opinion of the international scene. It is important to emphasize the importance that the opinion on politics represents in the press, which mostly is situated on the first pages of the edition.
Regarding the temporal dimension of publication of articles, it should be noted that there is a clear relation between the days with news of impact and the increase of opinion-makers and articles. Therefore, there is a direct relation between the highlighted events by the media context (the day of the elections, the aggression against the candidate Mariano Rajoy or the face-to-face debate among others) and the increase of opinion-makers in the following day in the newspapers.
An alarming data that the research leaves us is the gender perspective among the opinion-makers. The representation of women's opinion on politics in the context of the Spanish written press is insignificant. It should also be noted that the ratio of women opinion-makers and their production of articles is higher in relation to those of the men. This implies that fewer women produce more articles compared to men, an aspect that leads to even fewer women opinion-makers among the media.
In relation to the analysis carried out about the themes that have focused the attention among the opinion-makers, it is worth noting that, although a significant number of issues are proposed during the period, a very small number of those concentrate a higher percentage of opinion. Consequently, there is an accumulation of opinions and opinion-makers about the same group of issues and a passivity concerning the proposal of new subjects to the public and published debate of the media.
On the other hand, a clear ideological link is created between the opinion-makers and the editorial lines of the newspapers. The issues are polarized in a sphere of ideological debate that leads readers to ratify their positions with the proposal of the opinion-makers and the newspapers to which they are regulars. In this sense, it is verified that the topics that are focused in the media agenda become material of ideological polarization among the opinion-makers in search of a channel towards a dominant thought.
Although insult and demagogy is not something that characterizes the articles analyzed in our research, we do believe that it is noteworthy to point out that those few who employ this style do so persistently. It also emerges from the study that the tolerance level on such behaviors is unequal among the five newspapers.
In relation to the whole of the opinion-makers of the period and their frequency of production of opinion articles, it should be noted that a small group of opinion-makers concentrate the highest number of opinions of the period and, on the contrary, a large number of opinion-makers concentrate a percentage of opinion considerably lower in its comparison. In summary, this data implies that the leading role of the opinion published is in the hands of the regular opinion-makers and with a permanent link with the media, unlike those opinion-makers who are sporadically called by the newspaper to bring their "expert" look to a specific topic and that are dissipated among the established firms.
Finally, and in relation to the sociodemographic data resulting from the most frequently published opinion-makers, who concentrate more than 50% of the opinion of the period and who are representative of the opinion on politics published in the generalized written press analyzed in the period "General Elections in Spain 2015", the following profile is reached: a man close to 60 years old, living in the region of Catalonia or Madrid, a journalist by profession, with a university degree, with a more conservative than liberal ideological tendency, with a twitter account and an average close to 40,000 followers.
 Probably the idea of the media as creators of an informational pseudo-environment that conditions the opinions of the citizenship is one of the most remarkable contributions of Lippman. The theorists of the agenda-setting consider it as the starting point of his approach: "Walter Lippman is the intellectual father of the idea now called, for brevity, agenda-setting" (McCombs, 2006).
 Opinion maker or opinion leader. It has the ability to influence the attitudes or behavior of other individuals, to certain ways of thinking or acting, because it is perceived by others as an authority or a reliable source of information, news, or reflections.
 This field includes the "Page 2" section of the newspaper El País with 55 articles, "Abc" from the newspaper Abc with 26 articles and "La Tercera" from the newspaper El Mundo with 22 articles. For its similarity in its structure and purpose as a space open to opinion and analysis have been unified.
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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References
M Blasco-Duatis, N Fernández García, I Cunha (2017): “Political opinion in the Spanish newspapers. Analysis of the period General Elections campaign in Spain, 2015”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 72, pp. 349 to 373.
Article received on 3 February 2017. Accepted on 14 March.