surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

Subtle differences

You may have noticed something a little bit different about the latest print edition of SUR in English. It's nothing major and not meant to jump out and make a big noise, but we've brought in a few design changes which, we hope, will make your reading experience a little more pleasant and comfortable.

The text you're reading now, for example, is printed in a different font from the column that was in this space in last week's edition; the letters are rounder and wider, giving the impression that the text is bigger and making the articles easier to read. This and other tweaks have been brought into the SUR newspapers here on the Costa del Sol, as well as the rest of the regional titles of the Vocento group around Spain.

One of the aims of this subtle, but thorough, revamp is to make a clearer distinction between styles used for information and comment. In an age when fact and opinion are continually being mixed up and pumped chaotically into our computers and mobile phones via social media, it is essential that credible publications make the difference clear; a reader needs to know before they start whether the journalist is giving them information or analysing it.

This week has certainly given people scope to deliver a range of opinions. It started with the news that the Junta de Andalucía has authorised archers to move in and solve the problem of wild boar invading urban areas. Cute, cuddly creatures which after all are only wandering on land that was theirs before the developers moved in? Or dangerous wild animals invading neighbourhoods precisely because humans are there, leaving food lying around and saving them the bother of hunting or foraging? In this case I would be inclined to say that the families' fears are justified.

Another pest causing a stir, this time a bigger, global one, is the coronavirus. Quite rightly the world's population is watching on warily; this unknown virus is easily spread and has been fatal in several hundred cases, albeit a small proportion of the total number of infected patients.

But how did an illness, which has only been detected in a couple of cases in Spain (both foreigners infected outside this country and in hospitals on islands), lead to the cancellation of a huge mobile technology congress? The gradual stream of big and small firms pulling out of the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona, for fear of their staff falling ill, left none of the organisers prepared to sit tight and say "nothing to worry about". But was there really?

So, while some of the current affairs issues in this edition are not easily solved, our design changes will, we trust, help to make things a lot clearer.