Fernando de Yarza: “Because of the pride I feel in being Spanish and Aragonese, I wanted to bring this congress to our lands”

The president of the World Association of Journalists and Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and of HENNEO, Fernando de Yarza López-Madrazo, addressed the Auditorium of the Palacio de Congresos after the speech by the president of Aragón, Javier Lambán. At the beginning of his speech, he expressly thanked the presentation of King Felipe VI in Congress, in addition to greeting other authorities present. “Your Majesty, thank you from the bottom of my heart for agreeing to be with us at the 73rd World Congress of Newspapers and Publishers, whose objective is to further strengthen freedom of the press and editorial independence in some really complex moments all over the planet”.

Fernando de Yarza also congratulated Gazeta Wyborcza and its representatives for receiving the Golden Pen of Freedom. “It is the most important recognition that is granted in the journalistic world. The winners symbolize the values ​​that WAN-IFRA defends in the inalienable commitment to freedom of information and media independence: Gazeta Wyborcza not only resists the pressures of political and economic power in its country, Poland, but it has reinforced the example of that commitment to freedoms after the shameful military aggression that Russia is carrying out against Ukraine. The Foundation is being fundamental in the humanitarian efforts in favor of the Ukrainian people and in supporting the media and journalists of that country, both those who remain within the Ukrainian borders and those who have been exiled”.

“We also send a message of support and affection to those critical sectors of the Russian press that are literally risking their lives”

Solidarity as a flag

The president of HENNEO pointed out that “from WAN-IFRA we stand in solidarity with Ukraine and We also send a message of support and affection to those critical sectors of the Russian press who are literally risking their lives and their freedom to oppose this unjustified invasion”, in a gesture of recognition to a group that currently sees the free exercise of their work even more compromised.

The realization of this congress in Zaragoza was conceived in Glasgow three years ago, in the last face-to-face meeting of the Association. “Where after many years of fighting it, and with the strong support of my predecessor in office, Michael Golden Sulzsberger of the New York Times, whom I admire so much and whom I consider my teacher, we managed to bring this congress to Spain. Since 1981, the year in which the WAN met for the last time in Madrid, Spain has made very important progress, and has become one of the most important and vigorous modern democracies in the world”. He added that “Aragón, our region, and Zaragoza, its capital, are a mirror of Spain today. Because of this immense pride that I feel for being Spanish and Aragonese, I wanted to bring this Congress to our lands and for you to feel its kind welcome for a few days”.

HERALDO’s commitment

Yarza’s speech later focused on the group he presides over. “HERALDO DE ARAGÓN, the newspaper that acts as host and origin of the group I chair, HENNEO, turned 127 years old on September 20. We are absolutely committed to the legacy we have received. That’s why, when I see all of you here, completely filling this auditorium, I can’t stop thinking about how proud my grandmother Pilar would be of all of us. He was only 20 years old when, in 1940, his father, who also worked as editor of the newspaper, died. He had to take care of the diary together with his mother and his sister.”

Yarza stressed that “thanks to the effort and determination of these three brave women, we have come this far with the same values ​​with which our newspaper was born in 1895: the unequivocal defense of freedom and editorial independence. And so we want to continue. With perseverance and dedication to service”.

The speaker immediately recalled the entrepreneurs, addressing Felipe VI. “It is going to allow me that from this privileged platform, and with the reference of those brave women who preceded me, pay today a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of publishing families, who, from all corners of the planet, have committed their lives to defending press freedom and building a better society. Spain has not been exempt from this commitment. For more than forty years our country has been an advanced and solid democracy, whose political form is the Parliamentary Monarchy, today so brilliantly represented by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia”.

The role of the monarch

The head of HENNEO spared no praise for the management of the main guest of the afternoon. “Your Majesty complies with exemplary and excellence, its constitutional duty of arbitration and moderation of the institutions, and as the highest representative of Spain in international relations, with a prudent and sensible conduct, his commitment to civic harmony and his respect for the political and cultural plurality of a country as diverse as Spain”.

Yarza praised the king’s support for the free exercise of the information profession. “I know very well, Your Majesty, because you have shown it, that freedom of information and a quality solvent press have determined and unwavering support in your person. For this reason, in my capacity as president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, which brings together more than 18,000 publications from 120 countries, I want to recognize your permanent support for quality journalism, and reiterate my gratitude for your presence at this congress. , whose objective is to defend freedom of the press as a cornerstone of the rest of citizen rights”.

“I want to agree with the great Gabriel García Márquez when he stated that being a journalist or editor, in addition to being the most beautiful job in the world, is having the privilege of changing something every day.

Yarza concluded by citing an entire Nobel Prize for Literature. “I want to agree with the great Gabriel García Márquez when he stated that being a journalist or editor, in addition to being the most beautiful job in the world, is having the privilege of changing something every day. And we are working on it, and we are not going to waver in our permanent and determined commitment to freedom of the press”.

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Fernando de Yarza: “Because of the pride I feel in being Spanish and Aragonese, I wanted to bring this congress to our lands”