The journalist and writer Juan Cueto, one of the greatest communicators and most influential writers in the 80s and 90s, has died today in Madrid At age 76, after suffering from a long illness, according to the newspaper El País, of which he was a contributor.
Cueto (Oviedo, 1942) was a pioneer in television criticism and one of the driving forces behind Canal Plus in Spain. He was also one of the first to speak of globalization, consumption and new technologies as fundamental tools to access modernity.
Columnist and television critic of "El País" since its founding in 1975, he was also a contributor to Radio Nacional de España, "ABC" and other Spanish newspapers, and throughout his professional career he won prizes such as the César Journalism Award González Ruano (1983) and Francisco Cerecedo (1987).
The communicator saw with perspective the reality of the internet and that in the pay television there was the future. "The Internet is not the future nor the past nor will it save anything, but it is a reality like the whole world," he said in an interview with Efe in February 2011 on the occasion of the publication of his book "When Madrid became pop "
"In other places there is the total payment for the services, which is where the solution is, and I give the example of the television series, like HBO, where the audience is at this moment and the best writers, as in" Mad Men " or "The wire", he stressed.
The founder of "Los Cuadernos del Norte" compiled some of his best articles in "Cuando Madrid pop". But this book was also "a late tribute" to the modernity of Roland Barthes and the mythologies of Umberto Eco.
"Actually," explained Cueto, "I analyze why Spain arrived at modernity late, when Europe had already gone through the urban movement and how that lag caused us to be delayed in the face of new technologies."
And one of the answers given by the comunicólogo is that in this country new technologies "were taken by progress as something bad, like the devil, and that fear is still present in many places and is one of the characteristics of modernity to the Spanish, "he added.
A delay that the writer clashed with "the feat" that Spain was a country with a large number of illegal downloads.
In this sense, Cueto said bluntly: "Yes, we have gone from zero to one hundred. We went from total paletism, from contempt, from being afraid of new technologies to consuming everything with a self-confidence as if we were Japan, but without paying. "
Cueto, a descendant of Leopoldo Alas Clarín and a Law graduate from the University of Oviedo, was also the author of titles such as "Guía secreto de Asturias" (1974), "Los heterodoxos asturianos" (1975), "Mythologies of modernity" (1982), "The society of mass consumption" (1983), "Exterior night" (1983 and 1985), "Spiritual guide of Miguel de Molinos" (1970) or "Portrait of Camilo José Cela" (1989), written in collaboration with Alfonso Zamora Vicente.
He also published "Traficando con el instante" (1990), "El siglo de la duda" (1990), "Pasión catódica" (1995), a book in which he reflects on the years of the transition, with television as the guiding thread , which followed "Memories of the life of the painter Evaristo Valle" (2000); the one quoted "When Madrid made pop: from postmodernity to globalization" (2011) and "I was born with infamy: La mirada vagabunda" (2012), the last of his books.
The communicator saw with perspective the reality of the internet and that in the pay television there was the future