Hivos partner wins Excellence in Journalism Award

September 3, 2014

Hivos partner Plaza Pública has won two awards in the annual Excellence in Journalism contest organized by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).

Plaza Pública was awarded the Online News Coverage Award for their complete coverage of human rights violations during the rule of former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. Twelve journalists were recognized for their outstanding work by the IAPA, including three junior reporters (students).

“The coverage boasts a profusion of detail and in-depth information, a direct and clear narrative style is used; all of these achieved through various multimedia tools. In the end, the reader is given a valuable experience of immersion in this controversial case,” states IAPA’s website about the coverage.

The Inter American Press Association also honored the work of the photographer Simone Dalmasso for Plaza Pública. Under the name “La CPR de la sierra”, Dalmasso addressed the consequences of the civil war in Guatemala, especially for the most forgotten communities of the highlands. The result is a product of great aesthetic beauty, “with a soft and eloquent manner and unquestionably newsworthy,” said the committee of his work.

The chronicle “El castigo al hombre que no detuvo el terror” (The punishment of the man who did not stop the terror) by Alejandra Gutiérrez Valdizán was selected as a finalist, as well as the report “Dos entierros y el funeral de Martina Rojas” (Two burials and a funeral for Martina Rojas) by Sebastian Escalón.

The IAPA organizes a prestigious competition that encourages excellence in journalism and the defense of freedom of expression throughout the Americas. Impact, relevance, depth, accuracy and interactivity (in case of online material) are the key criteria for these awards.

Plaza Pública, a Hivos partner for the past four years, is an online, non-profit newspaper investigating and covering issues such as human rights, political corruption, agrarian issues, drug trafficking, migration and displaced people, among others. In short time, Plaza Pública has become a reference for investigative in-depth journalism and is recognized as one of the best alternative, independent media in the region.