SUR group receives US award

Representing SUR in New York was editor-in-chief Manuel Castillo
Representing SUR in New York was editor-in-chief Manuel Castillo / E.S.
  • The free-speech prize was given to Vocento by Eisenhower Fellowships

The Vocento media group, of which SUR in English is a part, was given a prestigious award this week in New York.

The 2017 First Amendment prize, awarded by Eisenhower Fellowships Spain, is in recognition of the group’s and its journalists’ work in the defence of a free press. It is the first time that an entire company has won the award.

Speaking at the ceremony, held at the Instituto Cervantes Spanish cultural centre in Manhattan, the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Pedro Morenés, said that “Vocento is the sum of many success stories” and he highlighted the company’s commitment “to Spain, and its regions as well as democracy, done with rigour, independence and honesty”.

Apart from the SUR titles in Malaga, the Vocento group also includes the national ABC newspaper, ten other Spanish regional newspapers, a news agency and interests in television and radio stations.

Receiving the award, Vocento’s regional editorial director, Benjamín Lana, said: “The future of journalism depends on excellent morals and not technology.” In particular he drew attention to the group’s titles in the Basque Country, El Correo and El Diario Vasco, and the high-risk work they did during years of ETA’s terrorist activity.

He also added that the paper’s title in the Castilla y León region, El Norte de Castilla, is the oldest newspaper in existence in Spain, first published in 1854.

Representing SUR at the ceremony was Malaga-based editor-in-chief Manuel Castillo.

Two other well-known journalists from Spain, Carlos Herrera and Susanna Griso, also received awards, as well as Mexican-born broadcaster on America’s Spanish-speaking Univision television channel, Jorge Ramos.

Eisenhower Fellowships is a nonprofit organisation formed in 1953 to honour former US president, Dwight Eisenhower, and his contribution to humanity as a soldier and leader.