ARA again named best European daily
Newspaper wins in regional newspaper category and received eight other awards for its work in digital journalism
BarcelonaThe European Newspaper Awards have recognised ARA as the best regional daily in Europe, an award it already won in 2015. With this award, the jury, made up of 18 professionals from nine different countries, recognises the creative and innovative capacity of the newspaper in its digital version and also in print. "Both because of its design and its concept, ARA is a benchmark for regional newspapers in Europe," said the organisers of the European Newspaper Awards. This is not the only prize that ARA has won: the jury has awarded it eight more prizes, which highlight the newspaper's commitment to rigorous information presented with excellent design.
"A design award is never just an award for simple aesthetics: the way ARA presents itself to readers is another way of communicating to them that it puts them at the centre. The effort is constant to provide them with information in the most useful and clearest way possible," explains Esther Vera, ARA's editor-in-chief. "And we do this through a rigorous design and quality that reflects the type of journalism that we defend at the newspaper: independent, free and committed. The roots are classic but, from here, we apply the most innovative technological tools to ensure that our point of view is expressed in a way that is as transparent as it is emphatic". Vera stresses that design is essential to communicate the contents both in print and online and, especially, in the development of the interactive reports that are ARA's hallmark.
In addition to winning the award for best European regional daily, ARA won best news pages for its digital coverage of the refugee crisis. Specifically, the jury awarded the prize to "Rats and barbed wire to welcome refugees to Europe", an interactive report by Cristina Mas and Xavier Bertral, who travelled to the island of Samos to learn first-hand about the situation of people seeking refuge on the European continent.
The awards have also placed special emphasis on how the media have covered the pandemic, the crisis that has marked the news over the last two years. In this section, ARA has received prizes for two of its interactive reports. The first, "How the pandemic has affected mental health", was carried out with the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya's Department of Health and analyses the effects that lockdown, restrictions on mobility and the economic crisis caused by the health crisis have had on people's mental health. The second interactive report awarded by the European Newspaper Awards is "Chronicle of a pandemic that brought the world to a standstill", by Francesc Millan and Lara Bonilla, a journey from the first covid cases, when there was still no information on the disease, to the present day. ARA has a solid interactive team, formed in the design section by Ricard Marfà, Jordi Olivé and Irene Gutiérrez, and with Idoia Longan and Jordi Guilleumas in charge of programming.
The category in which ARA has received the most awards is multimedia storytelling, one of the formats in which the newspaper specialises. The first of the award-winning works is the interactive "40 years building Catalonia", a chronology published on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first session of the Parliament of Catalonia after the death of Franco, which was inaugurated by the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Josep Tarradellas. The report starts with the year 1932 and the restoration of the Generalitat and ends with the year 2020 and the main milestones achieved in the field of equality.
The European Newspaper Awards have also given a prize to interactive report "How green energy reaches your home", a visually rich work with illustrations by Isaac Claramunt that explains in a didactic way how energy works, both from non-renewable and renewable sources. Another prize in this same category was given to "Woman's body, man's medicine", an interactive by Lara Bonilla with illustrations by Carmen Casado, that focuses on how the illnesses and diseases that affect women have traditionally been less studied because of medicine's male outlook. The work reminds us of how the lack of knowledge we generally have of women's bodies is just one example of the gender inequalities that also exist in medical research.
Another of the categories in which ARA has won is that of digital data journalism, thanks to "The challenges of water", an interactive linked to the exhibition Blue Gold which took place at Palau Robert from 18 December 2020 to 18 April 2021, which reflects on the use and exploitation of water. Finally, ARA has also been awarded for its coverage of the pandemic through data journalism. In the interactive "The pandemic in hospitals, in figures", the newspaper collects the most important data from the beginning of the health crisis: from occupied beds in hospitals to health personnel hired and medical equipment used.
While ARA was awarded the prize for best European regional daily, the Belgian newspaper De Tijd was awarded the prize for the best state-wide newspaper. The Portuguese Expresso was voted best weekly of the year, and Norway's Hallingdølen, best local daily.