The board of directors of EL PAÍS has approved the appointment of Soledad Gallego-Díaz as the new editor-in-chief of the newspaper. The journalist, who will be taking over the role from Antonio Caño, will officially take charge of the news organization on Sunday. In line with the Statute governing the EL PAÍS newsroom, the appointment was put to a non-binding vote by staff before being taken to the board. Antonio Caño will continue to be linked to EL PAÍS.
Gallego-Díaz (Madrid, 1951) will become the first female editor-in-chief in the 42-year history of the daily. During a speech she made this morning to EL PAÍS staff, she gave thanks for the support she has received to begin what she described as a “team job” that must always have the readers front and center. “They know what they can call on us for and what they can’t, and what they fundamentally want from us is that we don’t stray from the truth, and as such, in this newsroom, all that is asked for is observance of the ‘Style Guide’,” she said, in reference to the manual that sets out the rules of writing, editing and journalism that must be followed by all EL PAÍS staff.
Readers know what they can call on us for and what they can’t, and what they fundamentally want from us is that we don’t stray from the truth
The new editor-in-chief also alluded to the work done by hundreds of reporters in the more than 40-year history of the newspaper to create “a heritage of quality journalism, one that is among the best in Europe,” and has enjoyed millions of readers. “If I speak about that today,” she continued, “it is to put on the record the tremendous responsibility that we have to maintain, defend and improve that heritage.” She pointed out that these efforts should not just be aimed at EL PAÍS readers in Spain, but also those in Latin America.
At a time when journalism is faced with a number of major challenges, both in terms of news and technology, the incoming editor-in-chief pointed to the need to offer “true and necessary facts” so that readers can make their own decisions. She also underscored the need to convey credibility every single day: “Citizens trust this newsroom, and we have to show that we deserve that confidence on a daily basis.”
Manuel Mirat, the CEO of Grupo PRISA, the parent company of EL PAÍS, also offered his thanks on Friday morning to the outgoing editor-in-chief, Antonio Caño, for his work over the last four years, and expressed his total confidence in Gallego-Díaz, to whom he wished many future successes.
English version by Simon Hunter.