Extra! Extra! The Top 20 Spanish Newspapers to Reach Fluency

I still remember the days when I had to travel for 45 minutes to read a Spanish newspaper.

I didn’t have the internet, which meant no access to the world’s goings-on except for the news you could watch on TV.

Now, everything’s different.

The word “news” has taken on new meaning.

We get new news every couple of minutes from all around the world. It’s a constant stream of brand new information.

Just one tap, click or “hey, Alexa…” and we know everything.

Of course, this means that newspapers have changed and so has the way in which we read them. 

This has its upsides and downsides.

One major upside is that they’re very accessible, making them limitless and powerful tools for learning the Spanish language.

One downside is that we can easily get information overload. Another is that we can’t always tell what each newspaper’s bias is right away.

That’s why I’ve decided to create a list of some of the best Spanish-language newspapers available online—so you can get started on the right foot, without having to wade through thousands of options.

Ready to learn how to harness the power of global information in Español? Let’s dive into it and explore the top 20 Spanish newspapers!

1. El País (Spain)

spanish newspaper

El País (The Country) is one of Spain’s most-read daily newspapers.

It was established in the year 1976 after the death of Francisco Franco as a vehicle to promote the new democratic state of affairs in the country, and it’s been in circulation ever since.

El País is a rather center-left-leaning newspaper, although it tends to take a very neutral point of view when covering news.

Apart from news, it covers business, society, sports, education, technology and TV, among other topics. 

2. El Mundo (Spain)

spanish newspaper

Even though El Mundo (The World) defines itself as a liberal newspaper free from any political affiliation, the truth is that it was originally created to be the main right-wing paper of the country. Today, it continues to take a critical stance towards the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.

Politics aside, El Mundo is one of the leading Spanish newspapers, both in its printed and online versions.

It mainly covers national and international political news, although its opinion articles and its sports section are fantastic.

3. El Tiempo (Colombia)

spanish newspaper

El Tiempo (The Time) is one of the top Colombian newspapers in terms of printed copies and visits to its website.

With a history of over 110 years, El Tiempo is a centrist newspaper that includes news on national and international politics, business, sports, law and technology, among many others.

What I like the most about this newspaper is that you can personalize it. Just log in, choose the topics you’re interested in and create your own paper!

4. La Nación (Argentina)

spanish newspaper

Considered the newspaper of record for Argentina, La Nación (The Nation) is also one of the most widely-read daily papers in the country.

It’s the main Argentinian conservative newspaper, and it’s been in circulation since 1870 (yup, that’s over 150 years!).

La Nación has different sections on politics, economics, international affairs, society, opinion, sports, lifestyle and entertainment. 

What’s more, the lifestyle section hides a language-learning gem: Spanish podcasts

I particularly enjoy “Cómo fabricar tiempo” (“How to manufacture time”), which teaches you how to be more productive and make the most out of your time at work so you can have more free time.

5. La Prensa (Mexico)

spanish newspaper

La Prensa (The Press) is a Mexican newspaper that covers nota roja (red note) news.

Nota roja refers to a very popular type of journalism in Mexico that specializes in crime, violence, accidents and natural disasters.

However, La Prensa is much more than just a nota roja newspaper. It includes sections like national and international news, opinion, sports, science and gossip (basically, news about celebrities), among others.

6. El Nuevo Herald (USA)

spanish newspaper

Born as a 16-page supplement, El Nuevo Herald (The New Herald) originally consisted of a series of Spanish translations of different pieces of news published in The Miami Herald.

Since 1987, it’s been a newspaper on its own, and it’s currently America’s second-most-read paper in Spanish (after La Opinión—The Opinion, see #7 below).

I like the fact that each section of El Nuevo Herald is divided into several subsections, so finding what you’re interested in is really easy.

And if you want some native Spanish material to practice shadowing or your listening skills, you’re going to love the “Video” section.

7. La Opinión (USA)

spanish newspaper

La Opinión (The Opinion) was originally created as a newspaper for Mexican immigrants in the Los Angeles area.

It later changed course to cover news from all of Latin America, and eventually, the entire Spanish-speaking world. This includes the people of Spanish descent who live in LA.

La Opinión is the most read newspaper in Spanish in the USA and second in LA.

Personally, I think La Opinión‘s opinion articles (no pun intended) are superb. Try to use them in your learning sessions!

8. El Universal (Mexico)

spanish newspaper

El Universal (The Universal) was born in 1916 to cover the end of the Mexican Revolution.

Nowadays, it’s one of the most important newspapers in Mexico, and its website is accessed by millions of readers each month.

El Universal includes the typical sections a newspaper has: national and international news, opinion, science, sports and culture, among others.

If you want to access all the content of the digital version, you need to buy a subscription. The general thought about this premium service is that it’s amazing but very expensive for a digital paper.

9. El Vocero (Puerto Rico)

spanish newspaper

El Vocero (The Spokesperson) isn’t only the most read newspaper in Puerto Rico, but also the first to be completely free in the country (others have followed this strategy since).

This newspaper covers national and international news, with a special focus on politics and governmental information, but it also has sections on sports, opinion and economics, among others.

The section Audionoticias” (Audionews) sums up the main news of the day in around four minutes. These short audio clips are perfect for Spanish study microsessions and for practicing shadowing.

10. Clarín (Argentina)

spanish newspaper

Clarín (Bugle) is the most read newspaper in Argentina and second out of the world’s entire Spanish selection.

The paper pays special attention to local news (mainly the Buenos Aires area), and the sections devoted to sports and entertainment even have a different, unique design.

With a slogan that states it is “El gran diario argentino” (The great Argentinian [daily] newspaper”), Clarín will be the perfect place to improve your Argentinian Spanish while you get to know what’s going on in the country.

For advanced learners, I recommend the section “Claringrilla,” which is something like a crossword/word game section you can even print.

11. El Heraldo (Honduras)

spanish newspaper

According to PrensaMundo.comEl Heraldo (The Herald) is the most important newspaper in Honduras.

Established in Tegucigalpa in 1979, the paper covers news from all around the world, but its main focus is local and national news.

While I was doing research to write this post, I accidentally discovered El Heraldo‘s “Fact checking” section. This section poses questions and answers them by determining if the information surrounding the topic is true or false.

This methodology consists of four steps: Selecciona, consulta, verifica y califica (Select, consult, verify and rate), through which they determine the truthfulness of different statements.

I hope you enjoy reading this section as much as I do!

12. ABC Color (Paraguay)

spanish newspaper

ABC Color is one of the most read newspapers (both physical and digital) in Paraguay.

It focuses on national news, but it also covers world news, sports and entertainment.

It has a powerful newsletter section, where you can choose what topics you want to receive in your email.

To top it all off, ABC Color has three additional services: A TV channel that you can watch live online and two radio stations (am730, devoted to news, and fm98.5, which mainly covers the music industry).

13. Prensa Libre (Guatemala)

spanish newspaper

Guatemala’s newspaper of record, Prensa Libre (Free Press) is the most read newspaper in the country and, according to Prensa Mundo, its website is the most visited among national papers.

Prensa Libre covers the topics almost any other generalist newspaper does, but each section is clearly divided into broad subsections that make finding what you need much easier.

My favorite is the “Ciencia” (Science) subsection, not only because of the super interesting topics, but also because of the thorough research that’s been done to write each article.

14. El Mercurio (Chile)

spanish newspaper

Originally named El Mercurio de Valparaíso (Valparaíso’s Mercury), El Mercurio is one of the most important papers of the country, and the oldest newspaper in Spanish still in existence (it was established in 1827).

The digital version of the newspaper corresponds with the printed one. In fact, what you see on the site are actually scans (or what appears to be scans) of the real paper of the day.

El Mercurio is a right-wing newspaper that covers the same general topics as others. However, to access them, you must buy a subscription.

15. El Nacional (Venezuela)

spanish newspaper

Originally a newspaper leaning to the left side of politics, El Nacional (The National) is now considered a centrist paper and “one of the last independent newspapers” in the country.

It’s possibly because of this that it has become one of the main newspapers in Venezuela and one of the most read online, as well.

El Nacional will give you plenty of Spanish-learning material in the form of national and international news, economic reports and opinion articles, among other interesting sections.

However, my favorite subsection has to be “App,” where you can get to know the latest news about the main apps worldwide, including WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.

16. ABC (Spain)

spanish newspaper

Another heavyweight in the world of news in Spain, ABC has traditionally been considered the country’s Conservative, monarchical and Catholic newspaper.

ABC has several local editions throughout Spain, with the one from Madrid being the most read. Its website, with a very clean layout, is also one of the most visited paper sites in the country.

The printed version of ABC has three features that make it different from others:

  • It still uses staples to hold its pages together
  • It has a tabloid format
  • Its third page always includes an opinion article

17. La Tercera (Chile)

spanish newspaper

La Tercera (The Third) is considered one of the most important newspapers in Chile, and the biggest competitor of El Mercurio (see #14).

Originally created as the evening supplement of the morning newspaper La Hora (The Hour), it was called La Tercera de la Hora (The Third of the Hour) until it became a morning paper after La Hora was discontinued.

La Tercera has a whopping 30 sections, some of which include the weekend news, several podcasts, sports, Qué pasa (What’s going on), politics, national and international news and even a cooking club!

My favorite section has to be “Mouse,” which covers news about movies, Netflix, video games and comics.

18. La Jornada (Mexico)

spanish newspaper

La Jornada (The Working Day) is a 32-page, tabloid-format daily newspaper that sits in third place of Mexico’s top newspapers in Mexico City (fourth in the whole country).

The paper was established in 1984 by a group of journalists who didn’t feel there was real freedom of press in the country. Ever since its creation, La Jornada has been left-leaning and very critical of neoliberal globalization.

Among its different categories and sections, the one on culture (called “Cultura”) is especially interesting.

19. El Comercio (Peru)

spanish newspaper

Established in 1939 mainly as a paper covering commerce, literature and politics, El Comercio (The Commerce) is the oldest newspaper in the country and one of the oldest published in Spanish.

It’s ranked #1 in the number of online visits and #2 overall among Peruvian newspapers on the PrensaMundo.com website. 

El Comercio has a whole lot of different categories that will help you find Spanish-learning material easily and efficiently. I recommend that you have a look at the “WUF” section, especially if you’re a dog lover.

20. El Observador (Uruguay)

spanish newspaper

El Observador (The Observer) is a rather young newspaper (it was founded in 1991), but it’s already one of the main papers of Uruguay.

Its website isn’t exactly the digital version of the printed paper. Instead, it can be described as an information site where you can go read the latest news as it happens (it’s constantly updated).

Out of all the sections the website includes, the one I enjoyed the most was the one devoted to podcasts. If you’re a fan of reading and literature, you’ll especially enjoy “Te Cuento” (I Tell You).

How to Use a Spanish Newspaper to Learn Spanish

You have a lot of sources to choose from! Let’s have a look at some examples of how you can use these newspapers to get fluent in Spanish:

Read an article a day.

You need consistency if you want to really get the most out of using newspapers to learn Spanish. For this reason, you should read at least one article a day and work with it as if it were a short Spanish lesson.

Look up words you don’t understand, find grammar constructions you haven’t studied yet, review concepts you’ve already learned or words you used to have in your vocabulary bank.

Take notes.

You can also take notes as you read, writing down any word, phrase or construction that catches your attention. For a more advanced exercise, you can also try writing a short summary of the article.

Create flashcards and glossaries.

To make sure you don’t forget what you learn while reading, make your own flashcards and glossaries and include all your notes in them. Doing so is a great way to remember new vocabulary, but there are other things you can add to them apart from words—like conjugations, grammar rules, sample sentences and much more.

If you need help creating your own flashcards, there are a lot of apps for that. Many of them allow you to introduce the new information manually and personalize the flashcards from beginning to end.

Practice reading out loud.

Reading helps to learn a new language, but reading out loud is even better.

When you read out loud, you improve your pronunciation, rhythm and intonation. This won’t happen right away, but it’ll pay off in the long run. It’s very similar to practicing shadowing, except you’re reading instead of listening to native Spanish.

However, there are many newspapers with videos and audio files, so try to take advantage of that, too.

Play games with your newspapers.

Many students think of newspapers as a boring resource, but papers can be super fun if they’re used right. There are three games I especially like to play when I use newspapers in my classes:

  • Find the word: Take a Spanish dictionary and open it to a random page. Find a noun, adjective or verb. Now go back to your newspaper and try to find as many words related to the one you’ve chosen as possible in two minutes. They can be synonyms, opposites, family member words, etc.
  • What does it mean? Read an article in a newspaper of your choice and choose five words. Now try to explain their meaning by using only Spanish. You can also do this in written form if you want to practice your writing skills.
  • Spot the tense. You’re surely aware of the fact that Spanish has a lot of different tenses. Pick five you know well and try to find instances of them in a newspaper.

    If you’re feeling brave, give the whole conjugation information of the verbs you find. For example: podemos — “we can,” first-person plural of the present indicative of the verb poder, “to be able to”).

We’ve already looked at 20 newspapers, but there are literally thousands of them available nowadays, both in printed format and online.

Newspapers can be used in several different ways and they’re a superb tool to learn Spanish, but reading isn’t the only language skill you have to work on.

Sure, online newspapers offer audio and video, but where’s the grammar info, vocabulary lists or exercises to practice what you learn?

By all means, read newspapers and weaponize them so you learn Spanish like a pro, but use them together with other more comprehensible programs so you can practice all the major language skills at once.

One such program is FluentU.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:

learn-spanish-with-videos

FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.

Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

learn-spanish-with-interactive-captioned-videos

Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

learn-spanish-music-videos

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

practice-spanish-with-adaptive-quizzes

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the iOS or Android FluentU app.

 

And that’s all for today, my friends!

Newspapers, if used correctly, can be a magnificent tool to learn Spanish and reach fluency.

Papers come in many shapes and forms, are written in different dialects of Spanish and include information about every possible topic (or almost).

Start adding them to your learning sessions and you’ll see your level skyrocket faster than a news site gets updated!

Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy learning (with newspapers)!


Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.

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