Thursday, September 29

Sánchez’s accountability: few press conferences in Spain and speaking turns to related media




Since the change of government took place, changes also began to be introduced in the day-to-day government communication. Contrary to what happened with Isabel Celáa and María Jesús Montero, who answered questions based on the shifts assigned by the previous Secretary of State for Communication, Michelangelo OliverNow it is the spokesperson herself, Isabel Rodríguez, who orders the questions at the press conference after the Council of Ministers. Oliver carried out this distribution using a dossier in which he noted who and when they had asked. The system, however, was not without controversy and also lent itself to arbitrariness.

But in few press conferences there was a general feeling of lack of respect for the plurality of the media, such as the one that has been experienced this Wednesday at the Palacio de La Moncloa.

In the few press conferences that the President of the Government holds in our country, the figure of a member of the Secretary of State for Communication remains, distributing question turns. Pedro Sánchez today dispatched his annual balance appearance with only six question rounds, distributed among the following media: La Sexta, Cadena Ser, Agencia EFE, TVE, El País and All media characterized by not developing a critical line with the Government’s management.

The director of national information of the Government, Miguel Ángel Marfull, number two of the communication team that Francesc Vallès has led since July, has been in charge of managing and limiting these speaking turns. What happened this Friday has a precedent with the same protagonist in the meeting between Pedro Sánchez and Pere Aragonès on September 15. That day there was even an attempt to place the media that had previously been decided to ask questions in the first rows of the space set up in the Gothic gallery of the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. That day they asked TV3, El País, Radio Nacional, EFE Agency, Cadena SER and the Periódico de Cataluña. The appearance of Sánchez later contrasted with that of Pere Aragonès, who did not put any limits on the questions.

There is a root problem and that is that Pedro Sánchez appears before the media very little in Spain. Where it is most common to see him at a press conference is after the European Councils in Brussels. Appearances that if they are not mandatory are regulated and cannot be avoided. In addition, he only usually appears on his trips abroad. This year he has done it five times. Since Sánchez became president, and except on a couple of occasions, the usual appearances in the La Moncloa press room when a foreign president was received have been suppressed.

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