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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Václav Havel and Cable News Network (CNN)

Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 1997

Assembled together in Oviedo, the 1997 Prince of Asturias Award Jury for Communications and Humanities, comprised of Carlos Luis Álvarez, Adela Cortina, Alejandro Fernández de Araoz y Marañón, Javier Gómez Cuesta, Javier González Ferrari, Miguel Ángel Gozalo, Juan Luis Iglesias Prada, José María Martín Patino, Hans Meinke, Manuel Olivencia, Ricardo Senabre, Jesús de la Serna, presided over by Domingo Garcia-Sabell and with Román Suárez Blanco acting as secretary, has decided to grant the 1997 Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities to Václav Havel and to the Cable News Network (CNN) television network.

The Jury has esteemed that Václav Havel, current President of the Czech Republic, in addition to being an internationally recognized poet, playwright and essayist, has incorporated moral principles into politics while making a steady and practical appeal to civil commitments above ideological ones. His freedom of thought and intellectual clarity have led him to place political aims at the service of that which is securely in the background: human spirituality and conscience. His contribution to Europe, the building of a productive and democratic peace between Czechs and Slovaks, is one of the most brilliant chapters in modern history.

The Jury has likewise esteemed that the Cable News Network (CNN) television network, created in 1980, which brings uninterrupted news coverage to millions of households throughout the world and upholds the principle that international news is local news, constitutes one of the most influential and rigorous communications organizations in existence today, and the Jury would like to distinguish the outstanding labor performed by the network´s reporters who are always present where history is being made, providing information in a way that is precise, complete, forthright, and timely.

The Jury also esteems that, by recently initiating news coverage in Spanish, CNN understands the force of our language as a vehicle for international communication and decisively contributes to its growth.

Oviedo, 11th April 1997

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