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Message from the Argia team at the Argia Awards: Resist and sow

  • Urko Apaolaza Avila, on behalf of the group, has reached an agreement: "Vascophilous and journalist Joseba Zubimendi testified to Gernika's bombing in a memorable 1939 chronicle, which said: 'The child, man, woman or animal is indifferent. All that has life is the same: nothing should stand'. And in the same article he recognized that he had been "sharpened by the painful drilling of the skimmed lies heard the day after the vision of Gernika's incineration". With the selections of Koldo Izagirre you will find this piece of Zubimendi in the collection book A horse in the field of flight.
Urko Apaolaza, ARGIAko lantaldearen izenean. Dani Blanco / ARGIA CC-BY-SA

26 January 2024 - 14:51
Last updated: 2024-01-27 11:38:58

85 years later, things don't seem to have changed much in the world. A year ago, from this place our colleague Mikel García said that these were interesting times for journalism. We thought about the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis… Who was going to tell us, a year later, that we saw genocide day by day live?

Israel has killed more than 25,000 Palestinians in Gaza, bombed by land and air… with nothing left standing. At ARGIA we have made it clear from the outset that we have to tell what is happening in Palestine and denounce the accomplices of Israel. We're constantly tracking the web, because we can't allow to divert information attention and normalize genocide. 'Not on our behalf', we said on the cover of the special magazine we published in November. And today we confirmed it here: Not on our behalf.

As Josep Fontana announced, the world moves towards a strange place. They say in Palestine that to resist is to exist. We can say the same thing about journalism. How are we going to combat hate messages, xenophobia, totalitarian ideas, undesirable lies -- if we are not free to report? Fascism is sharpening our teeth and it is up to us to resist and respond to its threat.

These are not easy times for this trade. Unfortunately, Pablo González remains in the same place last year and the journalist of La Directo, Jesús Rodríguez, collaborator and friend of ARGIA, is also trying to punish the National Audience of Spain in the Tsunami Democràtic case. A strong embrace of solidarity from the entire ARGIA team.

These are not easy times for this trade. Unfortunately, Pablo González remains in the same place last year, and the National Audience of Spain is also trying to punish the journalist of 'La Directo', collaborator and friend of ARGIA, Jesús Rodríguez.

But in the most serious cases, the commitment and courage of journalists have become vital: According to data from the Palestinian journalists union, Israel has killed 112 journalists in Gaza. Yes, it is said easily. Faced with this, we find the passivity of international journalists’ associations shameful.

In Guatemala they are not much better either, but ask the members of the Community Press. Mining companies are continually criminalised and persecuted, as Paolina Albani told ARGIA last April to journalist Leire Artola. Following this conversation, we received a certified letter from the multinational Solway gift company, which erased the article and promised us to pay EUR 15,000 if we did not want to go to trial. Our answer was forceful: they will not silence us. And the result has been that they have been the ones who have been silent. On the contrary, the media of Euskal Herria gave a great impact on the subject and is very appreciable.

Beyond threat resistance, at ARGIA we try to work alternatives on a daily basis. To do this, we have an ideal community for neighborhood work, made up of numerous associations and agents, and another year we have some news to share with you. Among the eight initiatives we have created the Doinuele network: The Basque books and records fairs of Ziburu and seven other towns, which we organized with the friends of Baltsan, have joined forces to echo these places in Basque. In addition, ARGIA is part of the Amillubi project promoted by Biolur, because we know how important it is to work the lands collectively to sow a promising future. We have also begun to eco-edit books with the collaboration of the Institute of Eco-publishing of Catalonia. And we cannot fail to mention the transforming economic network Olatukoop to which we belong, which this year marks its tenth anniversary.

Another year we have some news to share with you. Among the eight initiatives we have created the Doinuele network: The Basque books and records fairs in Ziburu and seven other towns we organized with the friends of Baltsan have joined forces.

As for the products, we have had a great harvest: We have published the books A horse in the field of flight, Ño, the Romanian and the Precarious Planet; the agenda Luna and Plants of 2024 and the Calendar of Light; we have published the games Jarioka, Hizki Piztu and Otu, and this year we have launched six new podcasts: Rest, Ladies, BTN, Double Mint, Larrun and Hysterical Memory.

Behind these projects and products are names of many people, too many to mention here, but we are very grateful to everyone. Congratulations to everyone!

All this would not be possible without the support of the community and ARGIA members. For the eighth consecutive year we are more than the previous year, and already 40% of the budget for this project comes from the financial contribution of the members of ARGIA, which is our main income. Many of them are new young people, and many others have been transmitting affection and appreciation to this journal for years. Once again at the Argia Awards we have gathered around a table several members who have been with us for half a century: Bejondeizuela!... Andoni Sarriegi, Arantxa Galparsoro, Maria Pilar Aizpurua, Ana Barandiaran, Pake Gartzia, Alberto Agirreazaldegi, Gregorio Jauregi and Mila Etxeberria.

For the eighth consecutive year we are more than the previous year, and already 40% of the budget for this project comes from the financial contribution of ARGIA members.

In addition to the commitment of the citizens, it is clear that the media in Basque also need an institutional commitment. We believe that we offer a public information service from quality and professionalism. These institutions must ensure that the readers of the media in Basque also receive a decent service, and in this regard we always have the doors to cooperate.

We are talking about journalism and we want to end with a special mention. Our ARGIA colleague, Pello Zubiria, has taken the retirement path. Recently, in an interview with Jenofa Berhokoirigoin on the book "The Precarious Planet," he stated that in these times there is a great need for journalists to take risks to give clues to understanding what is happening in the world. Thank you Pello for all you have done so far. We're also going to try to do it."

Dani Blanco / ARGIA CC-BY-SA

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