The air of the times

When I woke up to the world, INFORMATION was already there, but, unlike in Augusto Monterroso’s short fable that I paraphrase, that presence was not that of a nightmare dinosaur but that of a long traveling companion.

My first INFORMATION image does not have a header or a precise date. A boy of little more than six years breaks into his father’s office, recently installed in the city of Alicante for his new job in the State administration, and tries to divert his father’s gaze from the large sheets of black ink stained to his childish face. The father notices that his youngest son is there, next to the armchair, on the other side of the printed paper, but he does not depose his attitude; keep reading the newspaper. The child shows his little fingers on the top of the page, like the ears of a mischievous guinea pig, and still does not get the adult’s attention. When he is ready to slap the contraption that deprives him of his father, the father closes the two halves of the newspaper, carefully deposits it on a nightstand next to the wing chair and gently caresses the intruder. “Do you want us to review something in your dictation notebook?”

I didn’t ask for that little school aid or a story before going to bed. He had been intrigued, ever since his family had settled in an apartment on Maisonnave Street, that the father had two infallible moments of ceremony every day; In the morning, at breakfast, when the boy kissed him before leaving for his school, the father leafed through the newspaper. At night, after dinner, the father went alone to the office and spent a time that the child was endless looking at these sheets in detail and stopping to read. The boy was jealous of what, over time, he knew had a name and was the press that came daily to his home.
Her impatience grew alarmingly on the day – she was then seven years old – when she saw her mother take the newspaper from the nightstand in the office and take it with her to the rocking chair where she sometimes sewed or played cards with her husband and older brothers. The boy, however, sensed that the basket and the cards were of lesser quantity in the use of the time of his elders; the rival who could dethrone him as king of the house was paper and answered to the name of INFORMATION.

Those little family rites that troubled him so much produced in the boy of that time the permanent addiction to reading newspapers that the adult of today still has. At the age of ten, on the occasion of a National Eucharistic Congress held in Granada, the boy Vicente (who was very blessed at the time) felt the first curiosity about those leaves that occupied so much time in his elders. He opened the newspaper and discovered several things, beyond the review of Granada’s religious acts. News of events never imagined in his head, photos of some remote place for him, who had only traveled until then from Elche to Almería, from Alicante to Valencia to see his uncles and cousins ​​once a year, reviews and film ads , a hobby that was already being inoculated into his young blood, a sports section that contained the feats of the football team of his birth town, Elche FC, which at that time was going through the good streak that would take him to play several seasons in the first division.

Time passed, the boy grew older, the newspaper kept coming into his house every morning, and the passage from his childhood to his adolescence had a crucial moment: it was not the day of his first furtive kiss on the street, nor that of his first impure thought (against which the priests of your school warned you), nor that of his first cigarette in secret. It was the day that newspaper called INFORMATION disputed with his parents, and he began to read it with curiosity and attention. As its own thing.

That newspaper, in which he would collaborate sporadically over the years and in which his work as a writer and filmmaker was echoed, was also the mold of an unbeatable belief: the profession of a written press reader, which has never abandoned him. INFORMATION was the first source of a wealth of daily publications published in other languages ​​and other cities in Spain, to which, without missing a single day, that child who was so irritated by the fixation of his parents on long, squared papers full of letters and images, he has continued to be linked, in the conviction that there is no better way to start and close a journey than by letting into our small world of individual beings the collective air of the times that newspapers carry inside them. INFORMATION has been doing this for seventy-five years.

Congratulations.

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