BUENOS AIRES – Argentine journalist Juan Roberto Mascardi Vigani told EFE on Thursday that he was surprised and delighted to learn that one of his stories won a King of Spain International Journalism Prize.
He described his initial reaction to the news from Madrid as “a lot of joy and a little bit of incredulity.”
“To me, it is the most important benchmark in Spanish language journalism,” Mascardi said. “It’s a seal of approval. It’s the certification of the path I chose to follow.”
Mascardi was recognized for an in-depth piece on Argentine soccer player Guillermo Martin Farre, who scored a rare goal to lift his Belgrano club into the first division and consign powerhouse River Plate to relegation.
But the story, published July 10, 2017, in Cordoba daily La Voz del Interior, “doesn’t speak only about soccer, it speaks of our mortal existence, the Argentine crisis, the political context that seeps into history. Hand on heart, I didn’t think it would get an award,” he said from his home in the northeastern city of Rosario.
The awards jury praised the article as an excellent example of a sports story that goes beyond the event or controversy to explore circumstances and character, using expressive, highly literary language.
The award, which comes with 6,000 euros ($7,500) and a sculpture by artist Joaquin Vaquero Turcios, was announced at the 35th edition of the King of Spain Prizes, an annual event organized by Agencia EFE and Spanish foreign aid agency AECID and sponsored by construction company OHL.