http://havanajournal.com/culture/entry/yoani-sanchez-awarded-spains-ortega-and-gasset-prize-for-digital-journalism/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Culture

Yoani Sanchez awarded Spain’s Ortega and Gasset prize for digital journalism

Posted April 05, 2008 by publisher in Cuba Culture.
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Reuters

Independent Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, who chronicles the woes of life in communist-run Cuba, was awarded one of Spain’s top journalism awards on Friday, the Ortega and Gasset prize for digital journalism.

Spanish newspaper El Pais, which awards the prize annually, said Sanchez won it for her “shrewdness” in overcoming hurdles to freedom of expression in Cuba, her “vivacious” style and her drive to join the “global space of citizen journalism.”

Her Generacion Y blog is the most popular blog posted from Cuba.

It received 1.2 million hits in February for its Web page on a server in Germany.

“This is great encouragement for Cuban bloggers who are still at an embryonic stage,” she told Reuters by telephone from her home in Havana.

“It recognizes that Cuban blogs can be a parallel source of information, reflection and opinions independent from Cuba’s official media,” the 32-year-old philologist said.

Sanchez has drawn considerable readership by writing about her daily life and describing the economic hardships and political constraints in her country.

Sanchez said she started her blog as a therapy to “let out frustrations,” and write about the Cuba that never gets into the official press.

She has criticized Cuba’s new President Raul Castro, who succeeded his ailing brother Fidel Castro last month, for his minimal steps to improve the standard of living of Cubans.

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Member Comments

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On May 02, 2008, nacho wrote:

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez makes it to the TIME 100  list of The World’s Most Influential People

Congratulations Yoani!

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On May 02, 2008, publisher wrote:

Nacho,

Great information. Thanks for posting that.

I hope Yoani gets the recognition (and freedom) she deserves.

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On May 07, 2008, publisher wrote:

Well, so much for the freedom…

The Cuban authorities have refused to grant an exit visa to Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, author of the blog “Generacion Y”, who was due to receive the Ortega y Gasset Prize in Spain, awarded to her by the daily El Pais in the “Internet journalism” category, on 4 April 2008. The award ceremony is being held in Madrid tomorrow.

“Raul Castro’s policy of openness has run into its first boundary here. We are astonished by this decision after it was heralded that there would be an easing of movement for Cuban citizens and liberalising of access to different means of communication,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

This prize was awarded to Yoani Sanchez “for the advances her work brought to the Web in Cuba in terms of freedom of expression, her acerbic tone, the accuracy of her information and the dynamic way she launched herself on the blogosphere”. Founded by El Pais in 1984, the Ortega y Gasset prize is the Spanish equivalent of the prestigious American Pulitzer prize, awarded for defending freedoms and for journalistic independence.