The Washington Post has officially launched its new Spanish podcast, El Washington Post. For its first episode, the podcast features an interview with former President of Bolivia Evo Morales, as well another—in Spanish—with Post Executive Editor Marty Baron.
The podcast will be hosted by journalist Juan Carlos Iragorri in Spain, along with correspondent Dori Toribio in DC, and Jorge Espinosa in Colombia. For Iragorri, having the podcast based out of three cities and continents is key to reaching audiences because of their geographic and political importance, calling DC “the political capital of the world.”
The podcast is part of a wider effort to reach Spanish-speaking audiences across the world, along with the launch of a Spanish opinion section, Post Opinión, earlier this fall.
“One of our initiatives for 2019 was to explore Spanish language journalism,” digital managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz says. “We saw an opportunity in podcasts, which haven’t really quite yet taken off in the Spanish-speaking world as they have in the United States.”
Although the goal is to serve Spanish speakers around the world, the podcast won’t be limited to only covering news and topics within Latin America.
“People are excited in different countries,” Iragorri says. “Of course we’re going to be watching carefully what’s happening in Latin America, or in Spain, or with the Hispanics here in the US, but we’re going to be talking about [world-wide] news.”
For the Post, which has succeeded in bolstering its audience in the US over the past four years, the step to deliver news to the Spanish-speaking world came naturally.
“Once you reach a point where penetration is where ours is, somewhere between 85 and 100 million [unique visitors in the US],” Garcia-Ruiz says. “Then you can start looking at other audiences and looking into what we could do in a foreign language. I think that was sort of natural.”
While the move to build an audience in Spanish may seem late compared to efforts by the New York Times and Buzzfeed, Garcia-Ruiz knows it won’t be easy, citing the recent shutdown of the New York Times en Español after just three years.
“The Times made a really bold effort in Mexico and we applaud them for that,” Garcia-Ruiz says. “It didn’t quite work out. You spend a lot of time building your brand in English and then you try to move it into a different language and it’s tough.”
“Google, Facebook, some of the biggest drivers of audience, they don’t particularly recognize you in a foreign language. So you have to build that audience, sometimes from scratch. Even though you have a big name.”
But for Iragorri, who’s received several world-renowned awards in journalism, it’s a worthy effort that he’s honored to be a part of.
“I’ve been working in journalism for 33 years but the thing is, this is the Washington Post,” Iragorri says. “This is maybe the most important newspaper, or one of the most important newspapers in the world. So working with these people here in this building and doing a podcast in the studio of the newsroom of the Post is really an honor.”
Even if you don’t speak Spanish, the new podcast could represent an educational opportunity, Iragorri says: “It could be a very good opportunity to learn to speak Spanish because we’re going to use our language very well in this podcast.”
You can find new episodes of El Washington Post every week on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6 AM ET.