10 August 2013

The IAPA announces the list of winners of its 2013 Excellence in Journalism Awards

The IAPA announces the list of winners of its 2013 Excellence in Journalism Awards. Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú (Argentina) and Diego Cornejo Menacho (Ecuador) obtained the IAPA Freedom of the Press Grand Prize in representation of all those journalists that fight for freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas.
MIAMI, Florida (August 9, 2013)— The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today announced the winners of the organization’s annual awards to encourage excellence in journalism and the defense of freedom of expression throughout the Americas. This year the IAPA Freedom of the Press Grand Prize went to journalists Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú (Argentina) and Diego Cornejo Menacho (Ecuador), for their repeated acts of courage and steadiness in defense of democratic values, especially for their fight towards freedom of the press and of expression, in representation of all of those who fight for these values in the Americas. The information was provided by Francisco Miró Quesada of El Comercio, Lima, Peru, chairman of the IAPA’s Awards Committee. The Committee selected the winners in 12 categories, whose awards will be granted at the IAPA’s 69th General Assembly, held in Denver, Colorado, October 18-22 at the Brown Palace Hotel. “Each year, the announcement of the awards’ winners is an opportunity to demonstrate the strength, impact and the quality of journalism practiced today in the Americas,” expressed Miró Quesada. The awards consist of a cash prize of $2,000 and plaques and diplomas. “This year we have awarded the IAPA Grand Prize to two renowned Latin American journalists, Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú and Diego Cornejo Menacho. Both are exceptional for their brilliant professional career and their contributions to the defense of human rights, and are a representation of all those journalists that fight for freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas,” Miró Quesada declared. Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazú A radio and television journalist, for 18 years she has hosted the leading program of Radio Mitre, “Magdalena Tempranísimo” (Very Early Magdalena). She has been awarded the Martín Fierro prize on 11 occasions and in 1994 she received the Martín Fierro de Oro (gold prize) for her professionalism. Four times she won the Broadcasting Prize and in 1996 the Platinum award. In 1983 she was a member of the National Commission on Human Disappearances (CONADEP) which drew up the report titled “Nunca Más” (Never Again) for the trial against dictatorship commanders. Ruiz Guiñazú is a constant defender of human rights and an untiring fighter for freedom of the press and of speech. France has awarded her its Legion of Honor, official rank. Italy has granted her its Order of Merit, official rank. The International Women’s Media Foundation in 2003 awarded her its grand prize for her lifelong career. She has published several books, among them “Historias de Hombres” (Stories of Men), “Mujeres y Jazmines” (Women and Jasmines), “Huésped de un verano” (Summer Guest), “Había una vez … la vida” (Once There Was … A Life), “¡Qué mundo nos ha tocado!” (What a World We Live In!) with Rafael Braun, “Héroes de un país del Sur” (Heroes of a Southern country), “Secretos de familia” (Family Secrets) and “La casa de los secretos” (The House of Secrets). Diego Cornejo Menacho Writer, painter, journalist, and former Professor of Journalism at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja University. For 20 years he worked at the newspaper Hoy, where he was managing editor until May 2007. From 2009 to 2010 he was the regional editor of Noticias de Ecuavisa in Quito; since 2011 he has been executive director of the Ecuadorean Association of Newpaper Editors and Publishers (AEDEP). In 2008 the Quito Municipality awarded him its Joaquín Gallegos Lara National Prize for the best novel written that year, “Miércoles y estiércoles” (Wednesday and Compost). For two consecutive years, 1994 and 1995, he received the Símbolos de Libertad National Prize for the best written report published in Hoy. He has exhibited his plastic arts at the Ecuadorean-Brazilian Culture Institute, in the Architects of Ecuador College and at Quito’s Acuarela Museum. Cornejo has become an advocate for the fight towards freedom of the press and of expression in Ecuador, acts that have made him a target of threats in this country. He recently condemned the abuses made by Rafael Correa’s government against the press; abuses that have led to the enactment of Ecuador’s Communication Law, also known as the “gag law.” Following are the categories and names of the contestants who received awards and honorable mentions: 1.IAPA Award Category: Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Inter-American Relations Award (sponsored by La Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua). David González, Adriana Rivera and Fabiola Zerpa, El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, for the work, published in the Siete Días supplement, headlined “Cáncer en los equipos” (Cancer in the Equipment). Comment: The maintenance contracts of key equipment for radiation therapy in Venezuela have lapsed. The machines – purchased in Argentina under a multi-million agreement – do not work, which causes innumerable problems for the patients. Using a large number of sources the writers deepen into the background of the problem, where the commercial and political relationships between the two countries get intertwined. They describe the use of technology as an instrument of foreign policy and the shady and “ideological” agreements between Argentina and Venezuela. At the same time they denounce the situation of people who cannot have access to adequate treatment given the negligence of the Chávez government. 2. IAPA Human Rights and Service to the Community Award (Sponsored by Panamá-América, Panama City, Panama; El Comercio, Lima, Peru; Organización Publicitaria, S.A., San Pedro Sula, Honduras; La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Joelmir Tavares de Rezende and Cristiano Trad Soares de Nazaré, O Tempo, Brazil, for the series of reports “Lado sujo do PAC” (Dirty Side of the PAC). Comment: The series condemns the exploitation to which Brazilian workers are subjected to at building sites where there is direct or indirect participation of the federal government. The reporter and photographer portray serious problems such as non-compliance with labor laws, retaliation and persecution of strikers, extremely poor living conditions, and even slavery. The series, which includes the profusion of photos, graphs and statistics, using an  attractive design, was the result of more than one month of work in which the journalists used all kinds of transportation to travel throughout the north of the country. 3. IAPA Newspaper in Education Award (Sponsored by Novedades de Quintana Roo, Mexico, and El Diario de Hoy, San Salvador, El Salvador). Carlos Etcheverry, Linda Gutiérrez and José Godoy, La Máquina de Ideas, Bolivia, for the project “Mi Súper Diario” (My Super Newspaper). Comment: Mi Súper Diario, the first newspaper for children in Latin America (as the writers describe it) has been a working progress throughout the years. Originated in Bolivia in 2003 and is now being published in Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. It is estimated to have one and a half million readers. Unlike other NIE editorial projects that usually focus on being ludic, this one opts to be informative and uses various journalistic genres. It includes news of current events and general interest remarks, in addition to local content generated in each country. From a graphical point of view it is very attractive and enjoyable. 4. IAPA Opinion Award (Sponsored by El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile). Reinaldo Marcial Escobar Casas, Voces magazine, Cuba, for his article “¿Qué fue el fidelismo?” (What Was Fidelism?). The work collects the authors reflections about  “Fidelism,” whose complexity – he admits – cannot be easily defined. Without entering into a debate about his views regarding the differences between Fidelism and the Cuban revolution, or his periodization of the evolution of Fidel Castro, the extent and nature of the criticism is striking, starting with the headline of the article, where he presents Fidelism as an dead phenomenon. In this regard, the author characterizes the movement by its improvisation, volunteerism, intransigence, theory contempt, ethical relativity, monopoly of information, the search for hardly effective recipes to solve old and deep problems, the creation of parallel hierarchies, disdain for institutionalization, and the pernicious custom of expecting to win at any price, among other characteristics. Traditionally the personality and conduct of Fidel Castro has been a taboo subject on the island and other questionings – more subtle and anecdotal – that were paid with jail time back in the days. The author’s bravery stands out, by daring to act within a system that continues punishing dissent. It is worth highlighting that Voces is the first digital publication in Cuba, where independent bloggers journalists publish. It has been published since 2010 and its issues already amount to 17. The magazine, devoted to literature and opinion, is printed in very small numbers – it is posted in PDF on the Internet and is distributed throughout Cuba by CD and Flash Drive

5. IAPA News Coverage Award (Sponsored by El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, and O Estado de S. Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil). Paula Mercedes Lugones, Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the series of articles on the current social and political scene in the United States against the background of the November 2012 presidential elections. Comment: The series of short reports and videos on United States’ 2012 presidential election (theme of many Hollywood movies) present, in a very original manner, the main issues of debate during the electoral campaign of President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney. The writer, who has experience with electoral campaign coverage, traveled through different cities of the country to narrate the development of the campaign using scenes from great Hollywood movies – Driving Miss Daisy, Pretty Woman, Fun With Dick and Jane, In Search of Happiness, Thelma and Louise, Wall Street, among others. The movies were the basis that enables her to address the “key issues.” The series describes, in an agreeable manner and with a precise use of language, the essence of the controversies, as well as the complexity, behind American elections, expressing how, despite the passing of time, social problems are the same now as they were when the movies were made. 6. IAPA In-Depth Reporting Award (Sponsored by The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida). Winner: Rubens Valente, Fernando Mello and Felipe Selguman, Folha de S. Paulo Brazil for the work “Especial Folha Transparencia” (Transparency Folha Special). Supported by a meticulous work of research, classification and analysis of information, the journalistic work carried out in this piece is an example of how journalism should be conducted. How thoroughness and in-depth analysis should be used to describe the facts and exhibit evidence that supports the allegations of wrongdoing. It manages to touch upon a sensitive issue disturbing Brazilian society – the impunity surrounding crimes where the accused are politicians and the difference in procedural times between these and those crimes committed by common citizens. Using info graphics and a concise narrative style, the investigation shows a remarkable work of consultation and analysis of the sources that along with the complementary material shown, produced an attractive and dynamic read. 7. IAPA Features Award (Sponsored by El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador, and McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento, California). Alberto Salcedo Ramos, SOHO magazine, Colombia, for the work “La travesía de Widki” (Wikdi’s Journey). The writer accompanied Wikdi, a boy who lives in the indigenous community of Arquía, Chocó province. The feature relates, with literary beauty, suspenseful rhythm and a profusion of details, the individual drama of walking five miles to go to school, a round-trip journey that takes five hours. The boy faces such varied dangers as landslides, paramilitaries or wild animals. Added to this is the social drama – the abandonment of the indigenous people, the high level of poverty within a framework of backwardness, social exclusion and indifference on the part of the authorities. The feature manages to express the critical situation of the inhabitants of Arquía, where Wikdi’s dreams and efforts to become a teacher and enjoy a better future are a ray of hope. 8. IAPA Photography Award (Sponsored by The Washington Post Company, Washington, D.C., and ABC Color, Asunción, Paraguay). José Ángel Blanco Grajeda, Ángel Hermoza Denegri, Karen Zárate, Rolly Reyna, Dante Piaggio, Ana Cecilia Gonzales Vigil, Juan Ponce, El Comercio, Lima, Peru, for the Suplemento Especial Sujeto de Derecho (Subject to Law Special Supplement). El Comercio brought together a group of photographers of different ages and professional backgrounds to produce 15 photographic reports on marginalization in the country and the struggle of communities and individuals to free themselves from it. This effort was crowned by a photographic exhibition at Casa Rimac in downtown Lima. The newspaper’s pages gathered together a selection of the work, in which classic reports are combined with a series of images. The result is a product of great aesthetic beauty, stimulating and brimming with optimism. The adjudication panel in addition agreed to grant an Honorable Mention to Omar Antonio Martínez Noyola of the newspaper Frontera, Mexico, for the group of photographs “Tratantes de Tijuana” (Tijuana Slave Traders). A work of great journalistic and aesthetic value carried out with much creativity and strength of criticism to show one of the harshest issues faced by the people of Tijuana – the trafficking of women for their sexual exploitation. The photos accompany a report headlined “Tratantes en Tijuana, un problema añejo” (Slave Traders in Tijuana, An Old Problem) by Luis Gerardo Andrade. 9. IAPA Cartoons Award (Sponsored by El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia). Hugo Díaz, La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the series of illustrations for the La Nación op-ed pages. The group of cartoons – that complement op-ed page articles – manages to masterfully translate the political and social time that Argentina is going through. Sharp, emotive, provocative and irreverent the drawings manage to become the central focus of the reader’s attention, thanks to the simplicity of the ink strokes and the strength of the message. 10. IAPA Infographics Award (Sponsored by Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Marco Gatica Montecinos, Marcelo Duhalde, Cristian Alfaro, El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, for infographics for the special supplement El Mercurio en Londres (El Mercurio in London). The series of info graphics on the Olympic Games (El Mercurio en Londres) immediately capture the reader and places him in an attractive and colorful display of data that comprise a language with style and ownership. The series – a combination of design, drawings, photography, graphics and text – constitute an example of how to treat a current topic of public interest in a creative manner and with visual richness. The adjudication panel also decided to grant an Honorable Mention to Alejandro Urueña, El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia, for the interactive infographics “9/ll el día que el mundo nunca olvidará” (9/11, the Day The World Will Never Forget). A comprehensive multimedia presentation that brings together a variety of graphic and audiovisual tools to display, in a clear and concise manner, information on the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States. The work effectively summarizes data, timelines and sequences, into a product of exhaustive and complex research work. The graphic and animation resources are outstanding.  it encompasses visual attractiveness and originality, on a matter of great social impact. 11. IAPA Online News Coverage Award (Sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, New York, N.Y.) Antonio Rebolledo, Omar Morales and Omar Limón, El Diario de Juárez, Mexico, for the series “Hambruna en la Sierra Tarahumara. Daños colaterales” (Famine in the Tarahumara Mountains. Collateral Damage). A complete and vigorous work on the problems of hunger and violence in an indigenous community. The multimedia material is used to show in detail the problems and causes for this scourge which affects the whole population, especially children. 12. Alejandro Miró Quesada Garland Multimedia Coverage Award (Sponsored by El Comercio, Lima, Peru). Rubens Fernando Alencar, Simon Ducroquet, Mario Kanno and Natália Peixoto, Thiago Guimarães Faria, Folha de S. Paulo, São Paulo Brazil, for the work “O julgamento de Mensalão” (The Trial of Mensalão). The multimedia work presents an enormous amount of information through various narrative resources and journalistic genres, from informative reports to short stories, info graphics and videos on a current issue and one of national relevance, the trial concerning the biggest case of corruption in Brazil (Mensalão), during the government of Lula da Silva. The scandal, which in 2005 reached the top echelons of the governing party, is dealt with in a masterly fashion, in depth and well. Awards Committee Chairman: Francisco Miró Quesada, El Comercio, Lima, Peru Vice Chairman: Christopher Barnes, The Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica Members Carlos Besanson, Diario del Viajero, Buenos Aires, Argentina Bruce Brugmann, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco, California Martín Etchevers, Olé, Buenos Aires, Argentina Ed McCullough, Associated Press, Miami, Florida Francisco Montes, Diario de Cuyo, San Juan, Argentina José Luis Parra, El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile Carlos Salinas, El Diario de Coahuila, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico Isabel Sicherle, The New York Times, New York, N.Y. Gilberto Urdaneta, El Regional de Zulia, Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela Johnny A. Yataco, Washington Hispanic, Washington, DC