Ortega y Gasset journalism prizes reward reporting on social justice

EL PAÍS awards go to publications on both sides of the Atlantic

Pedro Armestre’s award-winning photo of the bull running in Pamplona.
Pedro Armestre’s award-winning photo of the bull running in Pamplona.Pedro Armestre

The 31st Ortega y Gasset Awards for journalism, which are given out by EL PAÍS, have chosen reporting focusing on social justice on both sides of the Atlantic.

The winners, which were announced on Wednesday, cover issues such as the human cost of drug trafficking in Central America and home evictions in Spain. There were also prizes for a photograph capturing the fervor generated by the famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and for the editor The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, in recognition of his work at the helm of the of UK daily.

The print journalism award went to the investigative series Narcotráfico en el corredor centroamericano (or, Drug trafficking in the Central American corridor), published in the Sunday supplement of the Mexican daily El Universal and written by Pablo Ferri Tórtola, Alejandra Sánchez Inzunza and José Luis Pardo.

The jury, which included current and former EL PAÍS editors as well as the writer Arturo Pérez-Reverte, hailed the series as “an exceptional document... which explains each country’s relationship to the drug trade, detailing and exploring, in each case, the local consequences of the problem.”

The prize for best online news went to En la calle. Una historia de desahucios (or, On the streets. A story about evictions), a special report combining articles, photos and audio, and which was published in EL PAÍS. The newspaper’s editor, Javier Moreno, abstained from voting for this piece to avoid a conflict of interest. Another jury member, Jesús Ceberio, who is a former editor of the newspaper, also refrained from voting (his daughter Mónica is one of the writers of the winning series).

The photojournalist Pedro Armestre received an award for a shot of the 2013 sanfermines in Pamplona, which the jury described as “of great quality, great beauty, vivid, conveying with great feeling everything that is happening, and reflecting the fiesta in an unusual way.”

Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, received an Ortega y Gasset award for transforming his newspaper into a global leader of online news, and for “his fight to defend journalism and citizens’ right to information, as illustrated by the exclusive publication of the Edward Snowden leaks, information that has changed the way governments and citizens relate to each other, and whose dissemination has resulted in enormous legal, professional and even personal problems for Rusbridger.”

The awards, which come with a €15,000 prize and a plaque created by the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida, will be handed out at a ceremony in Madrid on May 22.

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