The Association of European Journalists in Catalonia and the Barcelona daily newspaper La Vanguardia have named Mediapart as the recipient of the inaugural Jaime Arias award for journalistic excellence, a prize that was created this year in memory of one of the leading figures in Catalan journalism.
It was on December 2nd, 2007, that Mediapart first put online a preliminary website announcing our intention of creating a unique digital newspaper that would be independent and participative, that would have no advertising or industrialist backer, and which would live solely thanks to the support of its readers. Coming seven years later to the day, the announcement that the Jaime Arias Award jury has given its inaugural prize to Mediapart is recognition of the collective efforts of the team and of the readers, an effort which has led to the success of this professional and democratic venture.

Set up this year by the Association of European Journalists in Catalonia (APEC – see the announcement on its site here] and the leading Barcelona daily newspaper La Vanguardia (see its article here, behind a paywall), the Jaime Arias award for journalistic excellence has the twin aim of honouring the memory of a major figure in Catalan journalism and showing recognition to an international media outlet. Its jury is made up of journalists (senior executives on La Vanguardia and APEC), leading figures in Catalan public life and Jaime Arias' son and daughter, Fèlix Arias and Lidia Arias. The press release announcing the award of the prize is available here in Catalan, here in Spanish and here in English.

Catalan journalist Jaime Arias. Catalan journalist Jaime Arias.

Jaime Arias (1922 – 2013), who was born in Barcelona and who started his career in 1939, was a landmark figure in Catalan journalism in the twentieth century, playing a key part in the revival of civic dignity and in the reconstruction of democracy there.  A symbol of high journalistic standards, Jaime Arias took a great interest in international affairs, particularly European issues. After his death in October 2013 his own newspaper La Vanguardia, where he was for many years a leader writer and adviser to the paper's management team, used the simple, sober headline: “Un periodista bueno”. It was an indication of how he was esteemed both as a good journalist and a good man.

The official award of the prize – which is a sculpture by Jaume Plensa (see more about this internationally-renowned artist here) – will take place at Barcelona's city hall on Wednesday December 17th at 7pm. Mediapart has already thanked the jury for this award which we consider an obligation as well as an honour.

Mediapart's partner in Spain is the online newspaper InfoLibre, thanks to whom we publish articles in Spanish (see here) and which itself has a section called 'Lo mejor de Mediapart' ('The best of Mediapart' - see here). It has obviously informed its readers of the award, here and here.

Le Club est l'espace de libre expression des abonnés de Mediapart. Ses contenus n'engagent pas la rédaction.