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Luis María Anson

Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 1991

The director of the ABC daily newspaper and of the magazine Blanco y Negro. He has also been, president of the EFE Agency, of the Madrid Press Association, of the Spanish Press Association and of the Latin-American Federation of Journalists´ Associations.

He was born in Madrid in 1935. His vocation as a journalist led him to publish his first articles at the age of thirteen, and to edit the Pilar School magazine at fifteen.

In 1954 he entered the Official School of Journalism, graduating at the top of his class in 1957.

In 1953, he started writing for the newspaper, ABC and by 1954 he was a regular contributor. He was a copy writer, section head, assistant editor and deputy editor on the paper, as well as editor of the Sunday edition.

In 1960 he obtained the "Luca de Tena" Prize for a work on the Agadir catastrophe, and he won the "Mariano de Cavia" Prize in 1964.

He was a member of the Privy Council of the Count of Barcelona, and Information Secretary on his Political Secretariat, until both bodies were dissolved (1969). His article "Everybody´s Monarchy", published in ABC on the 21st June 1966 led to the newspaper´s seizure.

In September 1975 he became Secretary of the Information Office set up by the Count of Barcelona, the specific mission of which was "to channel the relations between the head of the Spanish Royal Household and the social communications media".

On more than one occasion he has reiterated that he is permanently politically active in support of the institution of the monarchy, but never as a journalist.

A lecturer at the Official School of Journalism in Madrid, in January 1970 he was appointed as its deputy director and formed part of the team which passed the degree in Journalism over to the University. He is a Doctor honoris causa of the University of Mexico.

As a writer for ABC in Madrid, he has travelled Europe, and a great part of Asia and Africa. He has visited the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and was a war correspondent in the Congo. He covered Pope Paul VI´s journey to the Holy Land.

In September 1971 he was appointed as deputy editor of ABC. Until then he had worked as the assistant editor on the weekly supplement "Los domingos de ABC" In 1975 he became editor of Blanco y Negro and in 1976, of the Gaceta Ilustrada.

In the same year, in January 1975, he received the "Victor de la Serna" Prize, granted by the board of management of the Press Association for the best work in journalism in 1974.

In 1974, he succeeded Manuel Aznar on the Board of Management of La Vanguardia. Later, on the 28th September 1976, the Board of Management of the EFE Agency accepted the resignation of its Chairman, Jose María Alfaro, and appointed Luis María Anson to occupy the chair, a post which he held until January 1983. Under his leadership, he placed it among the top five big international news agencies and the first in the Spanish-speaking area.

For his article, "The dictatorship of fear", published in ABC on the 12th November 1977, he received the "González Ruano" Prize in Journalism for the best article of the year.

He has worked in television and radio, where he directed "Mirada al Mundo" (A Look at the World) and "La Prensa en el Debate" (The Press in the Debate), for which programme he was awarded the 1977 Ondas Prize.

In early 1979 he was elected a president of the Madrid Press Association. And on the 23rd February 1979, during its XXXV Assembly, he was chosen as president of the Federation of Press Associations.

In 1981, at the Second Latin-American Congress of Journalists in Lima, the founding charter Latin-American Federation of Journalists´ Associations was signed and Luis María Anson, representative of the Spanish Press Associations, was unanimously elected as its president.

In 1980 he was awarded the National Journalism Prize. A year later, in May 1981, he received the award, instituted by the Young Chamber of Commerce of Madrid, for the most outstanding reporting work of 1980.

He has been director of the ABC daily newspaper since the 13th January 1983, when he was appointed by the Board of Management of Prensa Española, the firm which publishes the paper, replacing Guillermo Luca de Tena, who became its editor.

On the 25th May 1986 he was presented with the "Freedom of Expression" Prize, granted by the Guayaquil Journalists´ Association (Ecuador), for his work in 1985.

Among his published works, the following are worthy of note: "La monarquía hoy", "Acción española", "La hora de la monarquía", "Maurras, razón y fé", "El Genjis Kan rojo", "Sobre la creación artística", La just distribución de la riqueza mundial", and "El grito de Oriente", for which he received the National Literature Prize.

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