We want to honour the “indispensable work” of correspondents that allows citizens “to learn about the events that are sadly transforming the history of Europe.” said José Joly, president of AMI. He praised the value of “their testimony in helping Spanish society to be aware of the horror of what is happening there.” At the same event, Věra Jourová, the Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, highlighted the importance of their work in the fight for freedom, justice and democracy.
At the awards ceremony, Joly highlighted the presence of reporters such as Marc Marginedas and Javier Espinosa, correspondents of El Periódico and El Mundo, who were held captive by the Islamic State for months. He also paid a heartfelt tribute to Mónica García Prieto, an ABC correspondent who lost her partner, Julio Fuentes, in the war in Iraq. “Anyone with another occupation who had lived through this type of experience would have abandoned the idea of approaching a battlefront again and facing the dangers involved. But journalism is not a profession. It is a way of life,” he stated.
The ceremony, attended by several high-ranking media personalities, highlighted the character and bravery of the award winners and their commitment to journalism. “The journalists awarded today have experienced moments that have endangered their integrity: Moments of relief when the sirens stopped, moments of euphoria when in their hands was the power to alleviate the suffering of others, moments of outrage when their eyes witnessed the most heinous behaviour, and moments of frustration when they saw innocent people suffer,” Joly said.
He also remembered with emotion Julio Anguita Parrado and José Couto, who died in the line of duty.
The European Commission for Values and Transparency Vice President, Věra Jourová, also joined in the tribute. She praised the essential work carried out by journalists in the field and the importance of rigorous, first-hand information in any democratic society. “The Commission stands by your side. Your work providing citizens with fact-checked reports and testimonies is crucial when Russian propaganda rages. By doing so, you are fighting for democracy, freedom and justice,” said Jourová.
Jourová expressed the European Union’s firm commitment to the free exercise of the profession through a Press Freedom Law that includes mechanisms to protect journalists against espionage and political pressure.
Some of the laureates could not attend the ceremony due to being abroad fulfilling their journalistic duties, and friends and relatives collected their awards. This was the case for Alfonso Masoliver, whose grandparents did not want to miss the occasion and, despite their health difficulties, proudly attended the ceremony to collect the award on his behalf.
Plàcid García-Planas, La Vanguardia correspondent, spoke on his colleagues’ behalf and stressed that “To capture these nuances, you have to be on the ground. It is impossible to capture them from the internet alone.” García-Planas emphasised that journalism is a collective profession, in which we all have our point of view. By uniting our points of view, and all our reporting, we will get closer to the big picture. He noted that the camaraderie among all the colleagues in Ukraine has been exemplary. “That is the prize, and I say it with pride, when, in a difficult situation, a colleague gives you a chocolate bar, the reporting will no longer be the same, it gets better.”
The 12 editors-in-chief of the award-winning correspondents Julián Quirós (ABC), Albert Sáez (El Periódico), Pepa Bueno (El País), Jordi Juan (La Vanguardia), Joaquín Manso (El Mundo), José Manuel Sanz (Efe), Francisco Marhuenda (La Razón), José Luis Vilela (La Voz de Galicia), Mikel Iturbe (Heraldo de Aragón), Encarna Samitier (20 Minutos), Esther Vera (Ara) and Alfonso Álvarez Riveiro (El Progreso de Lugo) also praised the work of these professionals and highlighted their courage.
The 58 award-winning journalists are:
Mónica García Prieto
Álvaro Ybarra Zavala
Matías Nieto Koenig
Laura López Caro
Ricardo Mir de Francia
Luis de Vega
Luis Jacobo García García
Francisco Javier González Cuesta
Raúl Sánchez Costa
Saúl Bernardo Ruiz
María Paz López
Xavier Mas de Xaxàs
Javier Espinosa Robles
Alberto Rojas Blanco
Manuel Bruque Jiménez
Sara Gómez Armas
Xavi Fernández García
Claudia Sacrest Martos
María Traspaderne Navarro
Isaac Jiménez Martín
Carles Grau Sivera
Miguel Gutiérrez Gutiérrez
Lourdes Velasco Pla
Guillermo Esteban Estrada Biba
Luis Ángel Reglero
Borja Sánchez Trillo
Rodrigo Jiménez Torrellas
LA VOZ DE GALICIA
HERALDO DE ARAGÓN
EL PROGRESO DE LUGO
Marcos Méndez Moreira
About AMI. The Asociación de Medios de Información (AMI) represents and acts as an intermediary of the Spanish media before national and international institutions and media associations worldwide. It currently brings together 26 editorial groups of national and regional, economic and sports media that, daily, work in Spain in research, coverage and dissemination of national and international news in all media to provide the best possible information to citizens. www.ami.info
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