Arizona Republic Doesn’t Put Up Paywall for Spanish Versions of Articles

Arizona Republic Doesn’t Put Up Paywall for Spanish Versions of Articles

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona’s largest newspaper, the Arizona Republic, doesn’t put up a paywall for any articles on its Spanish sister publication, “La Voz” — even if they’re translated versions of subscriber-only articles on its main page. 

When AZ Free News reached out to Gannett’s customer service, one of their agents insisted that readers needed a subscription to access any version of a paywalled story. AZ Free News then reached out to spokespersons with Gannett, Arizona Republic’s parent company, to ask about the rationale for not requiring Spanish readers to pay subscriptions. They didn’t respond by press time.

La Voz launched in 2000, the same year that Arizona Republic was acquired by Gannett, a Virginia-based mass media company that owns USA Today, a national paper, along with over 250 papers across 44 states. The only states that Gannett listed no paper ownership in: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

Though there isn’t an explicit reason given for the free access to La Voz, a plausible explanation might have to do with the newspaper chain’s social justice commitments. 

Gannett is one of many companies across the globe committed to “ESG,” or “Environmental, Social, and Governance” criteria that amount to a “social credit score.” Internationally, there are over 70 major companies committed to ESG criteria. The world’s greatest asset manager, BlackRock, serves as one of 100 strategic partners behind the globalist lobbying organization that invented ESG, the World Economic Forum (WEF); BlackRock is the largest shareholder in Gannett by far.

As part of those ESG criteria, Gannett has committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in hiring and media coverage. Last September, Gannett also announced that it created 20 national and 40 regional positions exclusively focused on social justice issues, with more to come. 

The company pledged to reshape its workforce to mirror the nation’s demographics and communities where its papers exist by the end of 2025. Per Gannett’s latest data, the Arizona Republic successfully neared this goal in several demographics last year. From 2020 to 2021, the newspaper reduced its White journalists from 66 to 62 percent, gaining on its community makeup of 55 percent; reduced its Black journalists from 7 percent to 5 percent, matching the 5 percent community makeup; 

However, the Arizona Republic fell short in several demographics. Though it increased its Hispanic/Latino journalists from nearly 15 percent to 18 percent, the community makeup totals 30 percent. And, it barely reduced its Asian journalists, hovering around 7 percent when the community makeup is just under 4 percent. It actually increased its Native American journalist hires, from just over 2 percent to nearly 3 percent, though the community makeup is just under 2 percent. 

Gannett was acquired by New Media Investment Group in 2019. The firm is controlled by Fortress Investment Group, another private equity firm, who is owned by Softbank, a Japanese conglomerate.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.