5 Online Sources of Streaming News in Spanish Posted by Jakob Gibbons on Jan 11, 2016 in Learning, Videos
There’s a lot going on in the Spanish-speaking world right now. Venezuela is shifting toward democracy with the results of its last parliamentary election. Argentina has just undergone its first peaceful power shift from left to right. Spain’s grassroots podemos party winning unprecedented popular support. Colombia approaching a historic peace agreement. Apple moving into Mexico. El Niño wreaking havoc in Paraguay. The list goes on and on.
It’s hard to keep up with all these trending events through the Western, English-speaking media, but why should language learners be worried about the legalization of marijuana in Uruguay or Costa Rica leading the world in renewable energy?
Because when you learn a new language, you have a priceless opportunity to learn a new culture. Learning a language that’s spoken by half a billion people worldwide gives you a glance into what life is like in Spain, Latin America, Equatorial Guinea, and the Caribbean through the linguistic lives of their residents.
Watching TV in your target language is a great way to crank your learning up to the next level, and watching the news in Spanish is the perfect way to combine language learning with brushing up on the culture and current affairs in parts of the world where Spanish is the language of daily life.
Some of the streaming news sources I’ll list below might restrict their services to IP addresses in certain countries, so if any of them give you trouble, consider using a VPN to change your IP address (and be sure to brush up on laws regarding VPNs in your area).
This list is far from exhaustive: just googling “noticias de [país] en vivo” is likely to turn up some helpful results, but watch out for sketchy websites that might be full of malware and viruses. Instead, you can get started with one or more of these five well-respected perspectives on what’s going on in el mundo hispanohablante.
1) TVE Spain
Spain’s Corporación de Radio y Televisión Española is one of the big names in news in the hispanophone world. For those who have studied abroad in Spain, learned Castellano Spanish, or just prefer the sound of a Spanish accent, this will be the natural choice.
RTVE isn’t just one channel, but rather a conglomerate of many television and radio channels, and you can access five of the channels online on their website. La 1 is your best bet for the day’s news, but a documentary on La 2 might be just as good. Real Madrid and FC Barcelona fans can check Teledeporte for sports (in separate rooms, of course).
Mexico is the powerhouse of the Latin American media industry, and Azteca is one of its giant conglomerates. The biggest competitor for Mexican media giant Televisa (which many will know from its Univision programming, which offers a paid subscription service online), Azteca offers a free and easy online streaming news channel that its larger rival does not.
The mainstay news broadcast is Hechos, and you can find their online streaming news under TV en Vivo. For a Latin American look at global events, check out the articles in the Internacional section. For those just looking for a quick bite-sized chunk of news, check out their YouTube channel, which is updated with new clips several times every hour.
Colombian Spanish is often perceived to be the most ‘neutral’ of any country, and the Spanish spoken around its capital of Bogotá is a prestige dialect in Latin America. This makes for an easy listening experience that you’ll especially appreciate if you’ve tried tuning into the news in Argentina or Cuba, or if you’re just starting out as a learner and need to build up your listening skills.
The state channels of Caracol and Señal Colombia are full of great programming you can find on their websites, but their live streams are a bit fussy about foreign IP addresses, so you’ll need a VPN for those. Canal Uno offers a much more accessible alternative, streaming news in beautiful Colombian Spanish from the inconspicuous little “Señal en Vivo” on the right side of the page underneath the header.
For the Che Guevaras out there, TeleSUR is going to be your network of choice. It’s one of the leading news sources on the Latin American left, funded largely by Latin American governments sympathetic to its take on the world. Expect heavy coverage of Venezuelan politics and sharp criticism of the West and the perpetrators of the guerra económica.
TeleSUR’s mantra is the promotion of Latin American integration, and as such it broadcasts the news of the day from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego. TeleSUR Noticias is the mainstay news program on the network, but you can also tune into Impacto Económico for the day’s business and economics news, or Maestra Vida for biographies of Latin American persons of interest.
5) BBC Mundo
BBC Mundo is sort of an honorary mention on this list, as it’s a Western news outlet providing news in Spanish. This means the reporting is from a decidedly Western slant and may not be quite as culturally educational as local Latin American or even Spanish news outlets. But the BBC is one of the biggest media companies in the whole mundo, and Mundo is a big chunk of that.
Their website lacks the 24-hour streaming offered by the other examples here, but it does offer a video section with news clips updated every few hours throughout the day. The real value in BBC Mundo, however, is probably in its written journalism, in the form of the massive repository of high-quality journalistic articles in Spanish. For a more mixed media approach that combines hearing the day’s headlines with reading about their details in the paper, try them out.
Didn’t find anything you liked, or hungry for more? Be sure to review our recent post from the Language News blog on where to find TV shows in your language — many of those tools can be used to find Spanish-speaking news outlets too!
Do you integrate current events or cultural learning into your language learning routine? Has it been helpful for your language skills or made you feel you better understand the culture of a particular country or region? Tell us about it in the comments below!