Because “Journalism is today more necessary than ever”, as Javier Fernández Arribas, president of the International Press Club (IPC), said, the International Journalism Awards were presented yesterday evening in Madrid. The awards were presented by several international press associations during a ceremony hosted by journalist Mº Ángeles Blanco in the Retiro Gardens.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, who showed his support for the members of the journalistic profession. Almeida described the practice of journalism as “dangerous, beautiful and essential to be able to enjoy a free democracy”. He also thanked the foreign correspondents in Madrid for their work in disseminating the image of the city. He concluded his speech with a tribute to those journalists who died in the course of their work, “giving their lives so that the rest of us might know the truth”.
His speech was followed by that of Javier Fernández Arribas, president of the International Press Club, who said that “journalism is more necessary today than ever. Journalism that contrasts, that is at the service of citizens, is essential for the proper functioning of society. That is what we are working for”. He thanked the joint action of the associations and above all the award winners for their excellent professional work.
The journalist and television presenter Pedro Piqueras received the first award of the evening from the Mayor of Madrid. Piqueras stressed the importance of journalists in a world in which “opinion threatens to carry more weight than truth”.
The second award of the International Press Club, entitled “Journalism at the limit”, was given to photographer Emilio Morenatti, who lamented the convulsive times in journalism today. Morenatti was unable to attend the ceremony, as he was covering the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London, and José María Peredo, journalist and international analyst, collected the award for him.
Oscar Mijallo received the award for best international correspondent. The RTVE journalist recalled the joy with which he received the news of being the winner of this edition, having just arrived in Spain from the Ukrainian front. He dedicated his award to his colleague and cameraman, Miguel Ángel de la Fuente, and to all the team at his news house who supported him in his journalistic career.
Miguel de la Fuente also received an award. He accepted the award remembering all the colleagues who lost their lives working alongside him in the long years of his career. “For the passion that unites us, that of journalism. And for all those who are not here with us. We are all part of one tribe,” said the journalist.
The CIP awarded Sarah Morris as the best foreign correspondent in Spain. The Anglo-Saxon journalist, correspondent for the French channel France24, accepted her award, thanking Spanish journalists for everything they have taught her. “Spanish journalists are very eager to learn. Always. It is a value that I see in few countries,” said Morris, who also thanked the great support he receives from his colleagues at France24.
The International Press Club also honoured the work of the Real Madrid Foundation, for which its ambassador, Arbeloa, accepted the award. The IPC wanted to reward the important social action carried out by the Real Madrid Foundation. “Real Madrid fans are spread all over the world. It is a passion that reaches all corners of the world. That’s why the club’s social work must also reach all those places”, Arbeloa assured.
Bertrand de La Grande, president of the Foreign Press Correspondents Association, took the floor after Pedro Piqueras to congratulate the four personalities that his association awarded in this 2022 edition. The actor Antonio Banderas, for his fundamental work in the promotion of culture; the cultural and historical attraction Puy du Fou, for its commitment to a different and valuable cultural offer; the Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz and finally the multifaceted Bertín Osborne, “for his peculiar way of doing interviews and bringing to television people who are not used to journalists”.
Together with Kamal Salim Malawa, the Palestinian ambassador collected the award that the Association of Arab Journalists and Writers dedicated to the Palestinian journalist from Al-Jazeera who died earlier this year in the West Bank, Shireen Abu Akleh. “Shireen represents the journalist who is committed to her profession, first and foremost. The journalist who seeks to educate, to transmit. But in Palestine it is not possible to develop this profession freely,” said the ambassador, recalling the 52 journalists who have died in recent years in Palestine.
The award of the African Press Association, directed by Abuy Nfubea, went to the film project Los Negros (2022), directed by Antonio Palacios Rojo, which gives a voice to the African collective in Spain, and more specifically in Seville. The documentary talks about the mark that African slaves left on the city of Seville.
The Association of Ibero-American Press Correspondents, and its director Sully Fuentes, presented its “Communication Award” to Casa de México, which was collected by Ximena Caraza, general director of the Mexican cultural institution based in Madrid, and Rubén Pizá, head of communications. Both invited all the people of Madrid to visit Casa de México “an experience that will change them forever”.