29 January 2013

IAPA Awards Winners 2012


The IAPA announces the winners of the 2012 Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Distinguished journalist César Ricaurte awarded the IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom.

MIAMI, Florida (August 8, 2012)—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 Grand Prize for Press Freedom was awarded to César Ricaurte for his long career as journalist and his merits in defense of freedom of the press and of expression. The information was provided by Francisco Miró Quesada of El Comercio, Lima, Peru, Chair of the Awards Committee.

The Committee chose the winners in 12 categories. Awards will be presented within the framework of the 68th IAPA General Assembly in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to be held from October 12 to 16 at the Sao Paulo Renaissance Hotel. “We are delighted at the response to the contest among journalists. The press is alive – the awards and honorable mentions that we are announcing today are a reflection of the best journalism being practiced today in the Americas,” Miró Quesada declared. The awards consist of $2,000 in cash, and plaques or diplomas.

“This year we have awarded the IAPA Grand Prize to distinguished journalist, founder, and director of Fundamedios César Ricaurte, who has played an essential role in the defense of press freedom and freedom of expression in Ecuador,” said Miró Quesada.

César Ricaurte is a journalism graduate of Central University and Simón Bolívar Andean University. He has collaborated with his country’s leading newspapers and magazines, distinguishing himself as a columnist with a critical line of thought and for his defense of freedom of expression and access to information.

He was the founder and currently is the Executive Director of Fundamedios – the Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of Media in its English translation – the only organization that monitors attacks on journalists and news media and that defends freedom of expression and press freedom in Ecuador.

Fundamedios is a member of the Andino Group for Informational Freedoms of the Regional Alliance for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, and of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX).

As a result of his meticulous reporting of attacks on and attempts against journalists and media in Ecuador, especially his denunciations before international bodies, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations, Ricaurte and Fundamedios have become a symbol of the battle for press freedom and democratic values.

Ricaurte developed and instituted the first Television Viewer Ombudperson program on the Ecuadorean channel Ecuavisa. He writes several columns a week for the newspaperDiario Hoy and produces and conducts the segment “Observatorio de Medios” (Media Observatory) for Multimedios 106, 106.9 FM newscasts. He has been a reporter, editor, and columnist in Ecuador’s most prestigious media – El Comercio, Diario Hoy, Vistazo, Mundo Diners, Radio Visión de Quito and El Universo, among others. He was the founding editor of the specialist magazines Traffic and El Timón.

Ricaurte’s articles are included in La violencia y los medios de comunicación (Violence and the News Media) of FLASCO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences) and in La comunicación hacia el tercer milenio (Communication toward the Third Millenium) of the Simón Bolívar Andean University. He is the publisher of Medios, País y Asamblea: El debate (Media, Country and Assembly: The Debate) (2007), Actores cómplices y encubridores: La TV y la Asamblea (Players, Accomplices and Accessories: TV and the Assembly) (2008), and La palabra rota: seis investigaciones sobre el periodismo ecuatoriano (The Broken Promise: Six Investigations Into the Ecuadorean Press) (pending publication), all publications of Fundamedios.

Below are the award categories and the names of contestants that obtained awards and honorable mentions:

1. IAPA Award category: Inter-American Relations Pedro Joaquín Chamorro (Sponsored byLa Prensa, Managua, Nicaragua). Rubens Valente, Fernanda Odilla and João Carlos Magalhães, Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil, for “Segredos do Itamaraty” (Secrets of Itamaraty).

The series highlights the importance of the process of political integration between Brazil and the United States, its principal trade and political partner, extending from the 1970s to Brazil’s democratic consolidation in the 1990s. An example of investigative reporting that contributes to informational transparency and confirms the importance of the press for the process of strengthening civil society.

2. IAPA Award category: Human Rights and Service to the Community (sponsored byPanamá-América, Panama City, Panama; El Comercio, Lima, Peru; Organización Publicitaria, S.A., San Pedro Sula, Honduras; La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Moisés Gómez y Erick Muñiz, Hora Cero, México, for “Una ruta nada santa” (An Unholy Route).

The work describes with passion and magnificent use of journalistic language the tragedy of two Salvadorian citizens that decide to migrate clandestinely to the United States through Mexico. This is a journalistic work of very high quality that keeps the reader tense and in ongoing anguish – a harsh denunciation of the situation of undocumented immigrants.

In addition, the adjudication panel recommends granting an honorable mention to Nusly Saray Carías Arguijo and María Antonia Ortiz Molina, El Heraldo, Honduras, for “Rostros para no olvidar” (Faces not to be Forgotten), a passionate feature about the problems of HIV-AIDS in Honduras. Along with the tragedy of various patients, the piece includes specialists’ opinions and data on this scourge in Honduras and the world. This is an in-depth investigative work that moves the reader.

3. IAPA Award category: Newspaper in Education (Sponsored by Novedades de Quintana Roo, Mexico, and E Diario de Hoy, San Salvador, El Salvador). Jornal NH, Brazil, team: Marcus Vinicius Klein, Luiz Afonso Franz, Anelise Ely Vian Gusmão and Juliana Loureiro for the program “Jornal na sala de aula” (The Newspaper in the Classroom).

The program’s objective is to convert the newspaper into a valid complementary resource to study plan activities. At the same time, it brings students up-to-date on what is happening in their city, country, and in the world. Taking part are 291 schools from different municipalities in the region of Vale do Sinos. It is accompanied by workshops for teachers, students and parents on a number of topics, among them journalistic techniques. The newspaper regularly publishes information about the program and includes a blog for news, school activities, visits, etc. A total of 27,052 students receive the newspaper every day.

4. IAPA Award category: Opinion (Sponsored by El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile). Eugênio Bucci, O Estado de S. Paulo, Brazil, for “O desejo de censura” (The Desire for Censorship).

This is an article that defends the right to freedom of expression and of the press, taking as a basis juridical-political categories and ethical concepts. The article dissects and criticizes arguments for censorship in-depth and with fluidity, beginning with the concrete case of Fernando Sarney v. O Estado de S. Paulo.

In addition, the adjudication panel recommends granting an honorable mention to Carlos María Reymundo Roberts, La Nación, Argentina, for his Saturday column “De no creer” (Not to be Believed) that stands out for its sharpness and irony in dealing with the term of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the actions of politicians, and the problems of Argentine society in general.

5. IAPA Award category: News Coverage (Sponsored by El Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela, and O Estado de S. Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil). Vania Cunha, Gabriela Moreira, Felipe Freire and Adriana Cruz, O Dia, Brazil, for “Retomada da Rocinha” (The Occupation of La Rocinha).

Magnificent coverage of the raid on the La Rocinha shantytown in Rio de Janeiro that presents the event with great argumentative richness and from various angles – the police’s, the drug traffickers’ and the shantytown neighbors’. Action, emotion, suspense, heroism, corruption, and social focus, with a brilliant deployment of journalistic resources.

6. IAPA Award category: In-Depth Reporting (Sponsored by The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida). Alejandro Santos, Marta Ruiz, María Teresa Ronderos, Luz María Sierra, Álvaro Sierra, Catalina Lobo-Guerrero, José Fernando Hoyos, Andrea Peña, José Monsalve, Paula Durán, Cristina Castro, Víctor Diusabá, Mauricio Aragón, Carlos Arango, César Paredes, Sally Palomino, Angélica Sánchez, César Molinares, Ivonne Rodríguez Semana, Colombia, for “Ley de Víctimas: Un paso histórico” (Victims Law: An Historic Step).

A solid investigation based on the consultation of sources and documents on the Colombian “Ley de Víctimas” (Victims Law). The authors start with the national reality and link it to similar problems in the world. Outstanding are the solid line of argument, the abundance of sources and data, the well-executed narrative structure, and the impact of the images.

7. IAPA Award category: Feature (Sponsored by El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador, and McClatchy Newspapers, Sacramento, California). Víctor Núñez Jaime, Milenio, Mexico, for “La reina de los albures de Tepito” (The Tepito Queen of Risks).

This is a monologue of a woman trader in the Tepito neighborhood of Mexico City. The feature is written in a clear, precise, pleasant, and highly literary manner. It projects the protagonist’s love of life amid the difficulties that surround her.

In addition, the adjudication panel recommends granting an honorable mention to Emilse Pizarro of La Nación Revista, Argentina, for “Historias que dejaron las cenizas” (Stories that Left their Ashes), dealing with the tragedy of the townspeople of Río Negro and Neuquén after the eruption of the Puyehue volcano. The feature, written in a lively style, describes the impact of this event on daily life, particularly on social relationships.

8. IAPA Award category: Photography (Sponsored by The Washington Post Company, Washington, D.C., and ABC Color, Asunción, Paraguay). Marco Antonio Gatica Montecinos, Héctor Aravena, Sergio López, Felipe González, Héctor Flores, El Mercurio, Chile, for “Protestas estudiantiles contra el sistema educativo” (Student Protests against the Educational System).

Excellent and original photographic work that covers the 2011 protests against the educational system in Chile. The news event is presented in a creative way, with very well conceptualized images of great social impact.

9. IAPA Award category: Cartoon (Sponsored by El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia). Gabriel Ippoliti, La Nación, Argentina, for a series of illustrations of personalities for articles on international politics – Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy, José Rodríguez Zapatero, David Cameron, Silvio Berlusconi, Sebastián Piñera. A group of three illustrations synthesizes recent history and the changes in the new world order. All are excellent drawings, of good taste, masterly and with psychological sharpness.

In addition, the adjudication panel recommends granting an honorable mention to Francisco Javier Olea, El Mercurio, Chile, for a series of illustrations for the front page and for articles on the Saturday and weekend editions, as well as for articles in El Mercurio book magazine dedicated to cultural and sports personalities, including Peter Gabriel, Humberto Suazo, Arturo Vidal, Bono, Nicanor Parra, Ricardo Piglia, and Julio Ramón Ribeyro, among others. A combination of masterful technique, intelligence, and irony.

10. IAPA Award category: Infographics (Sponsored by Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina). Moira Liz Olivar Montiel, Panorama, Venezuela, for “Peatones a su suerte” (Watch Out, Pedestrians).

The infographics, dedicated to traffic congestion and the daily insults between pedestrians and drivers, magnificently bring together text, photos, and illustrations. Accompanied by cutlines, graphics and colors, it includes recommendations to resolve or alleviate the problem. An attractive and useful product for the newspaper’s readers.

11. IAPA Award category: Online News Coverage (Sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, New York). Elizabeth Garrido A., Cecilia Fonseca, Getzalette Reyes, Manuel Vega Loo, Priscilla Pérez, Daniel Gómez, Yalena Ortíz, Cinthia Almanza, Carlos H. González, Richard Bonilla, María C. Fernández and Rosalía Simmons of Prensa.com, Panama, for “El retorno del ex dictador” (The Return of the Former Dictator).

The Prensa.com team puts into context the situation of former general Manuel Antonio Noriega, now extradited, and recalls the awful years of his government. With special interviews, great interactive infographics, and informative text and vodeo reports, it follows the events starting two days before Noriega’s arrival in Panama up to his jailing in the El Renacer prison.

12. IAPA Award category: Alejandro Miró Quesada Garland Multimedia Coverage (Sponsored by El Comercio, Lima, Perú). Felipe Andrés Gálvez Tabach, Juan Pablo Martínez, José Infestas, David Navarro, Claudio Pérez, Jorge Oporto and José Luis Lagos, Emol.com (El Mercurio), Chile, for their “Radiotelescopio ALMA: El mayor explorador del universo está en Chile” (ALMA radio-telescope: The Biggest Explorer of the Universe is in Chile).

Magnificent multimedia coverage of the launch of the world’s biggest radio-telescope in the Atacama desert and its importance. An interactive design of exceptional quality, with an abundance of infographics, timelines, interviews, reports in high-definition video, explanatory texts, and impressive photos. Through user friendly, informational content design, the team places itself at the vanguard of electronic journalism.

In addition, the adjudication panel recommends granting an honorable mention to Santiago Fourcade, Milenio, Mexico, for “Diarios de Guerra” (War Diaries).

A magnificent work on the violence besetting the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo León due to the criminal activities of drug traffickers. The videos’ quality content, narrative excellence and agile language place the reader in the middle of the action.

Awards Committee

  • Chair: Francisco Miró Quesada, El Comercio, Lima, Peru
  • Vice Chair: Francisco Fascetto, Diario Popular, Buenos Aires, Argentina


  • Carlos Besanson, Diario del Viajero, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Bruce Brugmann, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco, California
  • Martín Etchevers, Olé, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Lisa Klem, United Media, New York, N.Y.
  • André L. Jungblut, Gazeta do Sul, Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil
  • 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