Machine translation obtained using Elia by Elhuyar
Yearbook 2023-24 | Eneko Bidegain, Aitor Zuberogoitia, Txema Egaña (HUHEZI, Mondragon Unibertsitatea)


Audience, sales or distribution data are generally taken into account when measuring media impact. However, given that the media and media companies also have social objectives, other instruments of measurement have been considered interesting. One of them is the question of the social value of associations or entities. Social value is the value that an association or company generates, in addition to its book value, another value that generates its activity, hardly quantifiable and less monetizable. This social value would be the qualitative contribution it makes directly or indirectly to society or through the relationship and collaboration with other associations, companies or institutions.

The aim of this report is to measure the social value of the media. The work carried out during this period was to measure the social value of the Argia eta Alea semanaries. This research group conducted a similar research in 2015 with the media Berria and Goiena. On this occasion, a national and regional environment has also been chosen.

Argia is the oldest weekly in Euskera, which is written in Lasarte-Oria and works for all Euskal Herria. Although it has historically been a weekly, in the last decades it has evolved a lot and today, beyond the weekly, it has a web developed and an active daily activity in social networks.

The weekly Alea is more recent, but at a time when the paper was declining it was created by Geu Gasteiz in Álava in 2015 with the participation of the Berria and Goiena groups. He is a member of the Tokikom association, as a means of local communication in Euskera, but the scope of the journal is all Álava.  width=


The method used to measure the social value of the semanaries Alea and Argia has been, above all, qualitative. First, meetings were held with the leaders of each media to identify their main stakeholders. Once the lists of interest groups were prepared, an interview was held with the heads of each interest group to measure the value (both quantitative and qualitative) that Alea and Argia generate. In total, sixteen interviews were held.

After the interviews, the information received was classified. On the one hand, a qualitative description of the social value generated by both journals was performed. A process of quantification and monetization of some components of the listed values was then started. In this case, the variables to measure the value were identified. Afterwards, outputs of each variable were searched. The objective of this phase is to find a meter to quantify the variable. Each output was then assigned a proxy as an economic value. For example, if counseling is performed, the variable is counseling, output is the number of hours offered and the proxy is the cost of working time.

It should be noted that this measurement is not exhaustive. On the one hand, because the proxy calculation itself can be variable (working time or ad price is not the same in all companies or locations). On the other hand, there are more interest groups than the interviewees, and only the value that each interest group has counted in the interview has been collected, but this does not mean that there can be no more. Therefore, despite the inaccuracies, it can be expected that the social value measured in this study is lower than the real value.

In all cases, the greatest value of social value is found in the description of its contribution to society, hardly quantifiable and monetizable.


The social value of the semanaries Alea and Argia is presented in the following lines by area, instead of separately corresponding to each medium. In fact, both provide similar aspects: Basque culture (or Basque culture), territoriality, social concerns, the educational utility of the work of these media, the journalistic model and the business and management model.

Basque Culture and Culture

Alea participates in various groups of the Basque industry as an agent of the Basque culture. On the one hand, its participation in the strategic plan to promote the Basque country in 2019, supporting the Provincial Council of Álava. He also participated in the strategic reflection on culture. On the other hand, it collaborates with the Casa del Euskera de Vitoria-Gasteiz from the beginning of the project.

A delegation from Alea also participates in the Basque committee of the Provincial Council of Álava. La Diputación Foral considers “strategic agent” in the promotion of the Basque country. The Basque technician of the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz thinks it is strategic for the Basque of Vitoria-Gasteiz. He advises the work team of the City Hall, valuing “speed, quality and closeness”. On the other hand, Geu Gasteiz magazine disappeared a few years ago and, in his opinion, Alea occupies the gap he left.

The copy is a member of Tokikom and is one of the representatives of Tokikom in the Basque House of Culture. It thus establishes the connection between Topagunea and Tokikom. It follows the meetings of the Topagune Board of Directors and its dual function is to bring the word of Tokikom and its communicative point of view to the association, in addition to contributing Álava"s vision to the association.

For two or three years, Geu, Lazarraga, Topagunea and Alea undertook the training cycle Eragin Jantzi. They were not just talks, and Alea also participated in the design of those formations. The aim was to provide the Alaveses with socio-linguistic training. For the president of Topagunea, Alea’s impact is not only as a means of communication, but also as an agent of Basque culture.

They also participate or promote different actions. In collaboration with the Lazarraga association, for example, they organized an initiative in Solas Alea, in the Oihaneder house. Invited personalities from all over the Basque Country were interviewed. These interviews were later published or exposed on the network. They also organise photographic competitions in which dozens of people participate each year.

Another agent wanted to recall the monologue Potatoes bravas, organized by Ane Gebara and Aitor Vinagrete. His driving force was Alea, who opened the Basque humor about Álava.

In short, to reach the Alavese vasophiles is an essential means of communication for Basque cultural activity, according to Armentia Ikastola. On the other hand, the representative of the Foral Council says that he echoes the actions for the Basque Country. The municipal technician of Vitoria-Gasteiz says that the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz organizes many activities aimed at the Basque country, and if you want to make the public known it is done through Alea. 55.000 Basques live in Vitoria-Gasteiz and a total of 120,000 understand it and Alea is a “reference for them”, according to Lazarraga, a member of the cultural association.

In this regard, special mention should be made of the Euskera Agenda, which has been underlined by all the actors. In Alea, they disseminate an extensive agenda of events weekly in Euskera, and all of them have highlighted their performance, both as event organizers and their followers.

On the other hand, Argia is one of the organizers of the book fair of Ziburu. The initiative was from the Baltsan association of Ziburu, but from the outset they intended to organize a national fair not only for Ziburu, but for the whole of the Basque country. They began to think after the first Euskeraldia: they saw how many Euskaldunes there are, but they realized that few speak. So they thought about creating an act entirely in Basque. Not only, but they thought of organizing it with Argia, taking advantage that in the year of the first edition Argia celebrated 100 years.

The Baltsan people are grateful for the involvement of Argia. “We are a tiny association, but the Argia do not see quantity, but quality. The involvement of Argia is increasing’. The Ziburu trade show ‘is becoming a benchmark thanks to the work of Argia’. In fact, people from all over the Basque Country and personalities from the Basque cultural world come to the fair. To achieve this, the great network of Argia and its contacts have been fundamental. As well as the media impact they have obtained through the shadow of Argia.

The concrete contribution of Argia ranges from the development of the idea to the detailed works of it. “It has helped in ideas, because we have completed programming together.” Argia and Baltsan form a committee to organize the presentations. In addition to its content and communication, it has made an economic and practical contribution. The first year Argia took the expenses. It is now an economically autonomous market. On the other hand, Argia employees work throughout the day in the market: for example, in the popular food organized for guests.

The Ziburu trade show does not end with market day. The organizers of this fair and other similar events have created the Doinuele association. Argia, as the organizer of the fair in Ziburu, attends the meetings of Doinuel, along with those of Baltsan. In addition, meetings are held at Argia headquarters.


The reason why the Baltsan association of Ziburu worked with Argia was that it is "independent, only in Basque, left and national". The member of the Baltsan association who responded to the interview was a collaborator of Argia in 1978 and others from the continental Basque Country. “Argia has always had the objective of being a national. Iparralde"s news has always been relevant. They have always looked for an informer in Iparralde." And the members of the Baltsan association have also organized the fair with the aim of recovering that national vision that has been ‘lost’ in the people. “It is important to do this fair to bring together the Basques on both sides of the border.” This national character has been granted by Argia.

Along with the contribution of Argia to the territoriality of the Basque Country, one could put Alea. Alea has increased the visibility of Álava in both Vitoria and Euskal Herria, according to various interest groups. In other words, three quarters of the Alavese population live in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Consequently, non-Vitorian peoples tend to be forgotten. But Álava has no place in Alea. This was highlighted, among others, by the representative of the Provincial Council of Álava: ‘The other media do not give as much news from Álava’.

In this sense, they are grateful to be a ‘close agent’. “In the field of communication there are several media that offer news from around the world and we often lose the local. It"s offered by Alea," says the Foral Council.

But in Euskal Herria the spectacularity of Álava also increases thanks to Alea, as one collaborator says. “Although Álava is in the CAV, legally in the best place in the Basque Country, Álava is not known to many Basques”, but thanks to Alea he gets more comments. In this case, not through the paper version, but thanks to its presence on the web and social networks. The president of Euskaltzaleon Topagunea says the same thing: “It maintains the Alavesa vision and disseminates it on the net, from Álava. It"s the only magazine that talks about Álava."

According to the president of Tokikom, Alea is also considered exemplary among the local media. It offers the vision and representation of Álava in the association. He"s on the Tokikom Board. It shapes a media from a capital, shows how it works (in fact, Tokikom doesn"t have much space in cities except Vitoria).

Alea has professional journalists, but also many columnists and collaborators. They are collaborators of different profiles, according to one of them. Moreover, it offers “the possibility of writing in Basque for many who write in Álava”. If there were no grain, they would not have that possibility, because in the national media there was less room for everyone. It stresses, however, that the ‘best’ collaborators not only write in the national media, but also participate in Alea (i.e. the ‘best’ also participate). That is, for those in Álava who can write in Basque it is an important option.

Social concerns

Alea counts many agents and associations of Álava. It is not possible to list all, but for some it is an essential support to be able to disseminate them. For example, for the Ikusgune association. Ikusgune is the Observatory against LGTBI+phobia in Vitoria-Gasteiz and sees Alea as an essential agent to cover its work. He also considers that the theme of the LGTBI+ group is well socialized from the perspective and sensitivity of rights.

Specifically, everything Ikusgune does comes out in Alea (annual report, all press releases, interviews…) and Alea makes the “best treatment” of the association’s information. They say that this also has a weight: ‘communicates properly, does not feed the morb’. They deal with the issue from a ‘very political’ perspective in Ikusi. They are not in the capitalist line and speak in Basque. They say that is ‘political position’. And that"s what Alea and Ikusgune understand.

Consequently, Alea gives visibility to the association. “If the grain did not exist, we should do a great job to make ourselves known,” they say. The fact that Alea is a local media allows Ikusgune to show in the media what they do. Otherwise, the Berria newspaper would be the only one that would accommodate it, but being a national medium would not have enough space to echo all that Ikusgune does, as Alea does.

In general, the Basque technician of the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz states that it is a means of communication that informs about the social and cultural life of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

From the social point of view and the concerns of Argia, one could talk about the special treatment given to nature. Among the interest groups is Biolur, for example. But also the work of horticulture, medicinal plants, etc. Jakoba Errekondo has been working with Argia for 29 years. He writes a weekly article on the world of plants, “not for technicians from the botanical point of view, but for ordinary readers.” This is called the “ethno-botanical vision”, a vision that takes into account and links “plants and our culture, our way of life, our language…”. Thus, Argia allows thousands of people to explain the cultural view of plants or horticulture from the Basque Country.

And it"s successful. In 2013 they published the book Bizi baratza, with contents in this line. It was published in April and had three editions for the Durango Fair of the same year. In total, 10,000 units have been sold. With this success began presentations and conferences. In one year, Jakoba Errekondo made 180 presentations (it should be noted that he also collaborates in the Basque Country and has a lot of audience). “We realized that there was something that we didn’t smell very well before: a need, a vision of the garden (that the people of the city have come back to the ground and want to reconcile with the garden) and a language (expressions, verses, poems, plant names, vocabulary…),” explains Errekondo. “There was a very broad world that had left a bit. Completely abandoned from the cultured world. Culture is not playing the piano or dancing the aurresku”. This cultural diversity is what this project has shown.

Other projects have been launched in this interest. On the one hand, they pulled out the book Altzaporru, which works the orchard from the perspective of the comiceros. Secondly, a website has been created on this subject, where there is everything they have done so far, a dictionary, weekly work… Thirdly, a newsletter is sent every Monday (the registrations receive it) explaining the work that week. This newsletter gives people the opportunity to ask directly Jakoba Errekondo, who arrives almost every day, and Errekondo answers directly to the questions to both who asked the question, on the website and on the Whatsapp channel. Fourthly, they broadcast an agenda of Euskal Herria with activities related to the land (courses, fairs… in a week they are more than 100 events).

Subsequently, more books were published: The plants of the house, the book of medicinal plants of Garbiñe Larrea, the agenda of pastors, Luna and plants of Ardiek, which in addition to the astronomical information of the year, explains what to do every week…

But today, in the same weekly, there is also a great deal of space devoted to the subject, four pages a week: in addition to what has been said so far, journalist Garazi Zabaleta presents weekly a project of this sector (a young man, a new project, a team…). In addition, the website has been completely renovated. Many friends and collaborators have gathered around this project.

In summary, this project, developed with Argia, offers the most important environmental and agricultural information point in Basque, according to Errekondo.

Journalistic model

The interest groups interviewed have emphasized that Argia performs quality journalism. In the words of a subscriber, it is a means of communication that enters his home, which is ‘very important’. "The issues that it deals with are very different, not found in other media. There are many works focused on the small environment. It"s very interesting," he explains. He has put the areas of ecology, feminism, politics and culture on the list, and he finds it interesting ‘where they focus’. Another reader has stressed that the contents generated by Argia are created "from a local point of view". “The contribution it makes to me is very important, and that is that the articles are elaborated, that gives them time to deepen.”

Argia also participates in the Rosa network of free radios in Euskera. Another branch of Argia philosophy is related to the fact that the contents they generate are free and shared. The pink network brings together several podcasts and Argia generates about 100 sessions a year. These programs can be heard on the Rosa web or on digital platforms, but they are also broadcast on some radios of the Rosa network. Therefore, it could also be said that Argia generates some content for these radios.

On the other hand, Argia is a great source of information for the Zebrabidea program, produced by the Rosa network, which opens its contents. "And that"s a value, because they"re useful." In many media they have to pay a fee to agencies in order to receive and disseminate news. Argia offers this service for free.

In addition, Argia echoes the small radios, which is also beneficial for these radios in order to achieve visibility.

Alea also brings the same to other media. Some agents have seen it as a model. The president of Tokikom says he brings a vision of the city to other media. In fact, the rest of the local media in Euskera are of small town or valley and not urban. It explains how local journalism can be done in the city. And that"s what he thinks they"re an example of. The President of Topagunea added that Alea’s writing and work is ‘irradiating’ to the other members of Tokikom.

The representative of the Lazarraga association believes that it is ‘very close journalism’. See journalists ‘common sense’: ‘a lot of news has come out in Alea before or better than in Post or News’. He talks about his great contribution to journalism in Basque. It is the journalism that is done in “Euskera and Álava”: “by the tempus that exist, by the themes, by the way of dealing with the themes (reports…), which is not so done today”. He has recognised the ‘quality’ of this kind of journalism.

The President of Topagunea also says that he has been and is very much involved in the processes of unifying small local media. The grain itself was formed from the joining of several and is the ‘active agent’ of the fusion processes taking place elsewhere.

With regard to other local media or other actors, various actors have highlighted Alea’s contribution to innovation. Some mention the Telegram channel: There are people who go to the contents of the copy through this channel, others see great value to the daily notifications, because the news is spread quickly.

Also, the Basque technician of the City of Vitoria-Gasteiz has highlighted the great internet and audiovisual offer. The representative of the Lazarraga Cultural Association has also considered what they do in terms of videos to be of great value: "It"s very clear what they want." The Provincial Council of Álava says that ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) provide and have a vision for the future. The examples open up this vision in the forums in which they participate. And in a way, the representative of the Deputation added that Alea is ‘also a pioneer in advanced management’, meaning that Alea knows how to incorporate new technologies and digitisation on a daily basis, thereby ‘inspiring others’. For example, in Álava there are many municipal journals inspired by Alea for layout and other fields.

Contribution to education

Argia also offers education oriented work. A biologist member of the Aranzadi Society of Sciences now works in the field of education as an environmental advisor. In this work, his relationship with Argia is very fruitful. “I started writing in Argia some environmental and social history report. Later we have published with the Argia didactic materials about education, games, puzzles, card game Xapoketan, puzzle about animals of Euskal Herria…».

Thanks to this production and the reports it publishes, Argia “disseminates knowledge on concrete topics, perhaps because it publishes things that were not known before”. This biologist says that articles have been published in the educational field on environmental education in urban areas or a study on the knowledge of indigenous species…, says they are “innovative topics”.

And he has used a lot of reports to introduce a topic into the educational field. He has worked in class on reading the text, understanding, contents and reflection from the texts of Argia. They also make videos, some documentary… He has also used them. “At the time I was asked to record a video on environmental education and I know that they have used it in various courses as teaching material.” Argia is, in short, a material for teachers.

Besides articles and videos, "many of the materials generated by Argia are designed for later use in the domestic and educational sphere. They are concrete but flexible materials’. Highlights the "great contribution" of this material: “They have a clear focus, they are on Basque, they focus on models and native species; they do so very few, because they say it is not profitable.” This biologist says that often external material is brought in and sold here. “But what Argia does creates it here, and that is a great contribution.”

With regard to Alea, several initiatives have been undertaken in collaboration with the Armenian ikastola of Vitoria-Gasteiz, including the Kantari programme, which is organised at Christmas. It is a proposal for children to make a play-back of popular songs in Basque. Hundreds of boys and girls sign up, but there is no room for everyone, so participants are chosen by drawing lots. In this way, Alea encourages the use of the Basque Country with the ikastola Armentia, encourages the motivation of the students and publicizes the Basque songs.

Business management

The copy is printed weekly in the printing press Ondoan de Oñati. Unlike many other customers, working with Alea does not involve them in any additional work. That is what they underlined in the printing press. It is precisely responsible work and respect for the deadlines that are essential to perform the work in a comfortable way, and this is assured by those of Alea. If they had to pursue them like many other customers (for not sending documents properly, for not respecting deadlines, etc. ), I would ask for more work. Although Alea pays the bills, the lack of this additional work means saving an independent bill expense.

On the other hand, through Alea, the company Ondoan gets an echo. In this case, not through the information provided in the journal, but through the oral. What it does is what a commercial job would be, and that also has a certain value, as the printers have acknowledged.

Argia, for its part, is a working society in its corporate structure. In other words, workers participate in the company"s share capital. The ASLE group is responsible for coordinating these companies. ASLE brings together 230 companies in the Basque Country, including Argia in the last 25 years. The ASLE member states that Argia has a large stake and that for ASLE it is a ‘benchmark’ company. “A model that really is a working society is clear. They really believe in their structure, not only legal, but in their soul: values, the way to understand the business project, the way to care for workers, their involvement and their vision in the territory. They are very clear that in every project the person is at the center, but without losing social and territorial commitment. It must also be a competitive project, but they always give priority to solidarity and participation,” said the ASLE representative.

For ASLE it is very important that ASLE companies participate in the life of ASLE, not only as a service, but beyond. Several companies usually participate in the ASLE congress, but Argia says that it qualitatively contributes to ASLE, that “it makes the business project understandable and delivers it to other companies. Other companies contribute to growth in this approach." In this regard, ASLE makes an important contribution to making its project visible to other companies. “Without companies like light, it would be very difficult to see what a shared project is. When companies come together to visit the headquarters of Argia to show that what they count is true,” says the head of ASLE.

He is also a member of the Argia Olatukoop association. Argia asked if he could be a partner of the association. ‘We replied that we understood the social economy’, says the head of Olatukoop. Therefore, Argia is also actively involved in this structure. In recent years it is not in the direction. But before he was. At the moment they ‘bring much’ to communication. When the association builds a communication strategy, the Argia people are willing to participate in it. In addition, in recent years Argia is participating in the communication of Biolur Gipuzkoa for agriculture and organic livestock. This partnership is also in Olatukoop.

But in addition to the formal involvement of these associations, what Olatukoop values is that in the contents of Argia a lot of work is extended in favor of the social economy: “When Argia has established in its editorial line what content or topics it has always kept in mind the agenda of topics we have had from Olatukoop. Sovereignty is linked to materials: food sovereignty, cooperative housing, technological sovereignty, cooperativism… Argia has always given much visibility to these issues. He has given us highlights in speeches and themes related to emancipation, in the Key Yearbook, in the reports…». They track important issues for waves and “not as isolated news, but in articles, reports and interviews”. According to Olatukoop, Argia has given great visibility to the transformative social economy.

At one point, for two years, they published weekly an article on some social economy project. In another case, once a month it became an article of some relevant practice carried out by some Olatukoop cooperative. Beñat Irasuegi, head of Olatukoop, writes every three months an article in Argia on Olatukoop’s agenda. At this time, every month there are two or three articles or reports related to Olatukoop themes.

Beyond the contents, the choice and daily behavior of Argia has acclaimed Olatukoop members consistent with the message they disseminate in their contents. For example, high involvement in free technologies stands out. “He works a lot on free and federative social networks. They go their way and ours together, although each of them does it from their own area.’

Quantitative values

It has been sought that this contribution, in some way qualitatively described in the previous lines, translates into numbers when it could be made. The calculation has been made taking into account the time spent on other entities or associations and various initiatives organised or supported. Working hours, ad prices have been used, which are billed in other companies to create videos, etc. This value is the specific social value.

Alea and Argia received EUR 672,280 of public subsidies in 2022.

However, the share of the social value corresponding to what was paid in wages, the share of social security, the retention corresponding to the income of workers, VAT and the value of what was paid to suppliers, and after deducting the subsidies, returned directly to the company EUR 695,889. In other words, it has returned to society 2.02 times more than the subsidies. Beyond the socio-economic reversal, the socio-economic value generated by the economic activity itself amounts to EUR 1,255,136, representing 2.87 times the aid received.

By adding the calculation of the specific social value, the return is much higher. Although this data should be used with caution, Alea and Argia have provided an estimated value of 3,931.359 euros. According to this, what they return to society would be 6.85 times more than what they receive.  width=


This report has sought to prioritise qualitative results. The important thing about social value is to describe the nature of that value. What a media in Basque brings to society is much greater than what could be measured in monetary terms. This research shows that the economic aid that is given in Alea or in Argia (and the same in other Basque media) is a high-quality return to society.

On the one hand, there is a territorial view. The copy is weekly from Álava and Argia de Euskal Herria, but both give visibility to those who are in the shadows as others. Thanks to the existence of the grain, Álava has a space in Euskal Herria that he would not otherwise have. Although Alea’s readers are in Álava, the Alavese themes also get a deeper echo thanks to the current media. If the grain did not exist, no one would work on these issues in Álava. As for Argia, despite having its headquarters in Gipuzkoa, they give importance to the production of news from all over the Basque Country.

With regard to the contents offered by the two semanaries, this is a fundamental means of communication for different actors, either to be informed or to address different social problems. It can be about the LGTBI community, the work of associations in the Basque area, environmental issues... Both journals are grateful for the publication of themes that are quite shut down in other environments or media.

In addition to the journal, they promote or participate in other actions with other entities. All of them provoke the activation and/or cohesion of the people.

Beyond the content, they are two institutions involved in society. In the Basque sphere, Alea actively participates in various institutions or groups outside and outside Álava (Euskaltzaleon Topagunea, for example). Argia also collaborates with other institutions in the promotion of Basque culture (especially in the book fair of Ziburu). But they also participate and contribute as advisors in organizations beyond the Basque sphere.

Argia and Alea are two companies very concerned about society and Euskera. This concern is reflected in their regular production and subsequent work, relationships and implications. It is a value that does not fit in an economic and market measure and that benefits society.