The PRISA Group, the parent company of EL PAÍS, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have reached a deal to improve news coverage of global issues relating to sustainable development, nutrition and poverty.
The agreement was signed in Rome on Monday by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and PRISA CEO Juan Luis Cebrián.
“This is a way we can contribute to keeping our citizens better informed, which is our core mission”
As part of the deal, a reporter from the Planeta Futuro section of EL PAÍS, which focuses on development issues and is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – another important FAO ally – will be sent to FAO’s Rome headquarters for a training period.
The FAO will offer EL PAÍS direct access to its own publications, research and databases, allowing the newspaper to publish stories about relevant issues relating to poverty, climate change, global health, and education and innovation as drivers of development.
Further modes of cooperation will follow with the goal of improving public awareness about critical topics such as hunger, which affects 800 million people worldwide.
Graziano da Silva acknowledged the role of the media in fighting hunger, and highlighted the contributions that quality journalism can bring to the battle against climate change, food waste and malnutrition.
The FAO chief said EL PAÍS and FAO had “lots of things in common,” including respect for diversity and difference. He added that this partnership was a great opportunity to raise global awareness in the Spanish language, and to expand the organization’s impact in Latin America, the region where the fight against hunger has made the greatest progress in the last 10 years.
“Opening the door to a more in-depth relationship with EL PAÍS adds great value to our publications,” added Graziano da Silva, who says he reads EL PAÍS every morning. “We want to disseminate more information in Spanish and have this be our second language, after English.”
PRISA and EL PAÍS CEO Juan Luis Cebrián noted that the newspaper already had an audience of around 10 million readers in Latin America. The PRISA Group has a presence in every Latin American nation.
“We want to be, and already are, a global newspaper, especially in the Latin America area and the entire Spanish-language realm,” said Cebrián. “This agreement is part of our vocation as a global newspaper and is a natural fit for our desire to foster development, peace processes and robust democracies.”
The editor-in-chief of EL PAÍS, Antonio Caño, added that the agreement fell squarely in line with “what EL PAÍS means and what EL PAÍS wants to do.”
“I believe both organizations share similar values in favor of tolerance, respect for the rights of others, development and the fight against hunger. We will distribute information, and FAO produces very valuable information, so this is a way we can contribute to keeping our citizens better informed, which is our core mission,” he added.
English version by Susana Urra.