MADRID: At the presentation of the annual Journalism Awards by the Association of Journalism Madrid (APM), King Felipe VI openly spoke up for the freedom of the printing press in Spain last Tuesday.
Freedom of the press is central to the presentation of Journalism Awards in Madrid
“A democracy cannot exist without freedom of expression and information. Being able to practice free journalism is inherent to a democratic society”, the king emphasised in his speech. The king refers to various attempts at censorship and intimidation campaigns against journalists. And also attempts against various Spanish media including the newspaper ABC.es.
“Journalism is now and always necessary. But especially at a time when social media with unprecedented influence, speed, and reach is spreading facts and opinions. Journalists have a noble mission to serve the truth, to convey the facts truthfully. But also in a context where disinformation, false news, and propaganda increasingly impose themselves on reality. I expect from you, journalists, intellectual honesty, a critical eye, and thorough analysis, ”said the Spanish king in his speech.
Mayor of Madrid thanks journalists for their extraordinary efforts
The Journalism Awards at the Palacio deCibeles were attended by the Spanish King, and his wife Queen Letizia. Also in attendance were the Mayor of Madrid José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Regional President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and Minister of Territorial Policy Miquel Iceta. At the ceremony, the Mayor of Madrid expressed his gratitude to all journalists for their extraordinary commitment to “bringing the news home to all Spaniards in times of uncertainty and confusion.”
This year’s Journalism Prizes were awarded to:
- Constantino Mediavilla (Diario crítico en Madriddiario)
- Fernando Peinado (El País)
- Laura Galaup (eldiario.es)
- Elena Jiménez (Cadena Ser)
- Manuel Rico (infoLibre)
- Jaime Santirso (correspondent for El País in China y Asia)
- Clara Jiménez Cruz (cofunder and CEO of Maldita.es)
- Carlos Alsina (director of Más de uno and Onda Cero)
- Carlos Franganillo, (Telediario)
- Francisco Giménez-Alemán (former director of ABC.es).
Carlos Alsina, in his acceptance speech, denounced “the urge to silence the information supply” and the attempts to self-censure journalists. According to Alsina, these censorship campaigns lead to journalists preferring to avoid certain topics. As a result to avoid a witch hunt or lose subscribers to the employer. With this, Alsina referred to the censorship campaign that is currently directed against the newspaper ABC.es. “The only way to resist these censorship bullies is to continue with our coverage. Silencing the free press means the death of democracy, ”said Alsina.