Some thoughts and a thank you
Let's start with a thank you. We journalists have a particular relationship with time. We'll just as soon live in a never-ending digital information continuum as have the feeling that the world begins and ends every day in the form of a paper newspaper. A newspaper is a handcrafted object expelled by a noisy rotary press with the air of a 20th century production, but that no one has yet been able to surpass. Like a pencil, like a spoon, like a book, like so many simple and unsurpassable objects, the print newspaper is still an element that makes life better and that accompanies us in the sunshine of a Sunday aperitif or the hustle and bustle of the train. The distribution of information organised as on paper, but downloaded in PDF format, is a good substitute compatible with the rapid consumption of digital channels in this world in continuous transformation. But paper is still paper.
The crisis of the press is beginning to be as long and mythical as that of the theatre or of the British Empire. However, reality, with its pendular swings, seems, on the other hand, to be leading us more towards a recovery of the usefulness of journalism than towards its disappearance.
We often ask ourselves what is the condition for this recovery to take place. And we answer that it is the quality of information and respect for readers. If there are consumers who want honest, local products, there is also room for readers who want rigorous, independent journalism that is committed to their society.
At ARA, where we try to celebrate everything, today we are celebrating eleven years of life. These are years made up of thousands of news and opinion articles, editorials, illustrations, photographs, crossword puzzles, front pages, exclusives. Of successes and mistakes in a newspaper that was born defying the economic crisis, seeking to explain new times and a new country that wanted and wants to be clean, noble, cultured, rich, free, alert and happy.
ARA has survived the pandemic thanks to you: subscribers, readers, advertisers. Also, and very especially, thanks to its shareholders, who –like the professionals who write the paper every day– are involved in society to do rigorous, free and committed journalism.
As on the first day, we want to be an agora of debate for all those who dream and work to make a better country. The agora of discerning readers who respect and appreciate the well-founded ideas of others with whom they want to disagree and debate in order to move forward collectively.
We have never shied away from debate or reality, and we will continue to do so. Our raison d'être is journalism. Neither propaganda, nor unanimity, nor silence.
Thanks to our readers and subscribers. You are the driving force behind our work. You have always understood that quality information is not free and that quality journalism is a democratic asset. Your support makes us freer.
Listening to those who have no voice
A basic function of journalism is to give a voice to the voiceless, and today's newspaper is an example. In Catalonia this year seven women were murdered by their current or former partners (five more women were murdered by men they were not in a relationship with). These are people who are part of a sinister statistic but who have names and surnames, and who had hopes and children, parents, siblings and friends who today are also victims of violence and who will have to manage their loss for the rest of their lives.
They have helped us to reconstruct the stories of the murdered women to try to understand what kind of society we live in and the way women's dignity is undermined. Gender violence is transversal and affects women from all walks of life, from all educational and economic levels. It is a plague made of humiliation and subtle violence that ends up undermining personal freedom, economic autonomy, the ability to make autonomous decisions. All the witnesses express frustration, agree that today they would not try to normalise what is not normal, that they would intervene first by denouncing the anomaly. Humiliation is not normal, nor is domination, nor control, nor lack of respect; even less so the beatings, the abuses of power that undermine women's self-esteem and make them victims trapped in a web from which they think they will not be able to escape. Society's obligation is to help them escape harassment and not tolerate what is intolerable. Our silences also kill, and having a safe society for women is everyone's responsibility.