14ymedio, Madrid, 26 May 2022 — The twentieth edition of El Mundo International Journalism Awards celebrate freedom of expression and the free flow of information by awarding prizes to two reporters who, from different parts of the globe, are an example of the fundamental values of the profession: courage and rigor.
In the Best Journalistic Work category, the winner was the Russian journalist Alexey Andreevich Kovalev, head of research for the Meduza news project, based in Riga (Latvia). And in the Freedom of the Press category, the winner is the Cuban journalist Luz Escobar, a reporter for the digital media outlet 14ymedio, who is currently under house arrest in her country.
After the careful deliberations, the jury made the decision to announce the awards this morning and plans to deliver them at the end of the summer. Jury members are Joaquín Manso, director of the newspaper El Mundo and president of the jury; Silvia Román, editor-in-chief of El Mundo International; the novelist Carmen Posadas; Araceli Mangas, senior academic and vice president of the Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences and Professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid, together with political scientist José Ignacio Torreblanca, director of the Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, and César Antonio Molina, former Minister of Culture and writer.
The prize, endowed with 20,000 euros and a commemorative sculpture by the artist Martín Chirino, recognizes rigor, journalistic value, ethical commitment and the defense of freedom of expression. These awards are being held in memory of El Mundo journalists Julio A. Parrado, a victim of the Iraq war, Julio Fuentes, assassinated in Afghanistan, and José Luis López de Lacalle, columnist for El Mundo assassinated by ETA, the Basque separatist group.
Last year, after the absence of the awards in 2020 due to the pandemic, the winners were Anne Applebaum, who works at The Washington Post, and Roula Khalaf, a Lebanese journalist and director of the Financial Times.
Kovalev and Escobar thus join a long list of journalism professionals who, over the last two decades, have celebrated the importance of the profession with El Mundo. In 2019, former Washington Post editor Martin Baron and The Times editor John Witherow were recognized.
In recent editions these international awards have also been given to important names in the national and international journalistic profession such as Thomas L. Friedman, Lydia Cacho, Anabel Hernández, Mark Thompson, Klaus Brinkbäumer, Manu Brabo, Santi Palacios, Salud Hernández-Mora, Rosa Montero, Arturo Pérez-Reverte or Javier Espinosa. Raúl Rivero, who died in 2021, was also one of the winners in the 2003 edition. Rivero was imprisoned in Cuba and later became a regular collaborator and columnist for this newspaper.
The newly appointed director of El Mundo, Joaquín Manso, has highlighted the worth of both winners. In the midst of the war in Ukraine, de Kovalev stressed that he “brings information to Russian citizens” and also that he was responsible for demonstrating, among other things, “Trump’s links with the Russian oligarchy… There are few sources of information about Ukraine for the Russian citizen,” he emphasized.
The award to Luz Escobar highlighted her “her work of denunciation and her courage” defending free information. Escobar is currently under house arrest. In the words of Silvia Román, editor-in-chief of the international section of El Mundo, it is important “not to forget” this type of profile and that her work “is not in vain.”
Editorial Note: This note was originally published in El Mundo.
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