MADRID – King Felipe VI of Spain presented on Wednesday the King of Spain International Journalism Awards to reporters from across the Ibero-American world, recognizing the importance of their work.
The 33rd edition of the awards, held in Madrid by news agency Agencia EFE and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, recognized the work of professionals in the categories of Written Press, Radio, Television, Photography, Digital Journalism and Environmental Journalism.
The King awarded the 12th Don Quixote Prize for Journalism to Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa and the Ibero-American Prize for Journalism to Spanish journalist, Carlos Herrera.
The other winners were Portuguese journalist, Catarina Gomes (Written Press), Brazilians Marcia Foletto (Photography) and Marcelo Magalhaes (Television), Bolivians Abdel Padilla and Jose Luis Mendoza (Radio), Uruguyan Jeronimo Giorgi Boero and Italian Angelo Attanasio (Digital Journalism) and Colombians Santiago Cardenas Hererra and Manuel Saldarriaga Quintero (Environmental Journalism).
In his speech, the King said that the ability of journalism to adapt to new technology is a quality that is “closely linked to its social function.”
Felipe VI said that the Crown retains a strong commitment to journalism, and to the Portuguese and Spanish speaking world.
The King praised the winning journalists, adding that they demonstrated the “high level of Latin American journalism in all its facets.”
Agencia EFE president, Jose Antonio Vera, highlighted the importance of the Latin American dimension of the Agency, which in 1966 opened it first office on the continent in Buenos Aires.
Vera added that the Agency would not be what it is “without the power of the Spanish language,” but that its success also relied on its 3,000 strong international worldwide.
Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Latin America, Jesus Garcia, said the promotion of free journalism would be a way to foster democratic pluralism.
He also mentioned the risk that journalists took in the field, adding that the profession expressed the truth with impartiality and vigor
Each winner is due to receive 6,000 euros, sponsored by the international concessions and construction group OHL.
They are also due to receive a bronze sculpture by the artist Joaquin Vaquero Turcios.
The Environmental Journalism award is sponsored by the Aquae Foundation.
The Don Quixote Prize winner, sponsored by Tragsa, is due to receive 9,000 euros and a commemorative sculpture.
Several personalities were in the audience, including Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria as well as diplomatic, journalistic, cultural and environmental representatives.