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EFE’s President Says Press Must Inform, Criticize, Even Applaud the Powers

ARANDA DE DUERO, Spain – The president of Spain’s official news agency EFE will attend on Thursday the closing ceremony of the 5th edition of the “Press and Power” Summer workshop, hosted by the Ciudad de la Educacion de San Gabriel, in the northern city of Aranda de Duero, and will receive the “Prensa y Poder 2017” award, which this year went to EFE.

Jose Antonio Vera, EFE’s President, has been one of the main attendants and keynote speakers at the workshop which the Spanish government spokesperson and Minister of Education, Culture, and Sports, Iñigo Mendez de Vigo, formally opened July 17.

Vera stated at this workshop that the journalist’s task must not only be to seek to publish the truth but also criticize, denounce or even applaud the powers that be whenever they do their job well.

“If we only devoted ourselves to criticize the powers, we would also be failing our task” warned Vera.

The world’s leading news agency in Spanish and the fourth largest overall is the latest winner of the “Press and Power” award whose previous winners include former director of the Spanish Intelligence services (CNI) and Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Felix Sanz Roldan, or Spanish columnist and writer Raul del Pozo.

During a speech, Vera said he wished to share the award with all of EFE’s news desks, extending it to other news agency staffs who pursue their journalistic duties without any public recognition.

Vera also reminded that EFE celebrates in 2017 its 78th anniversary, founded precisely in Burgos and its lead role in keeping informed the world’s 500 million Spanish speakers, with a presence in 120 countries and bureaus in 200 cities worldwide.

He also expressed his belief that the press, more than a (fourth) power, should be a counter-power that remains “vigilant” regarding the “powers.”

EFE’s president also underscored the importance that news organizations seek the truth.

He offered Fidel Castro’s example last year, when some media organizations announced his death on various occasions only to discover he was still alive.

EFE was the world’s first agency to announce the death of the Cuban leader when it did occur.

“We try to produce rigorous, serious, contrasted journalism,” pointed out Vera.

On the other hand, the director of the Summer workshop, journalist Graciano Palomo, stated that EFE agency “is of service to everybody, but especially to the less powerful” and regarding Vera, he defined him as a “purebred journalist.”

The “Press and Power” Summer Workshop seminar ends today, July 20, with the presence of President Vera and the regional president of Castilla Leon, Juan Vicente Herrera.


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