Leading Spanish newspaper El Pais gets first woman editor

Soledad Gallego-Diaz joined El Pais, the biggest Spanish-language publication in the world and an institution both in Spain and Latin America, shortly after its founding in 1976
AFP

Madrid (AFP) – Spain’s influential El Pais newspaper approved Friday the appointment of its first woman editor, the daily’s owner said Friday, a day after a new Spanish government was sworn in with women holding the majority of ministerial posts.

El Pais’ board ratified the appointment of award-winning journalist Soledad Gallego-Diaz, 67, to the post after the newspaper’s nearly 300 staff members overwhelmingly approved the move in a vote late on Thursday, Spanish media firm Prisa said in a statement.

Soledad Gallego-Diaz joined El Pais, the biggest Spanish-language publication in the world and an institution both in Spain and Latin America, shortly after its founding in 1976 as the country began its transition to democracy following the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco.

She has served as a correspondent in Brussels, London, Paris, Buenos Aires and New York, as well as deputy editor and ombudsman.

“Citizens trust this newsroom –- so every day we must show that we deserve that trust,” Gallego-Diaz said during her presentation speech to the newspaper’s staff on Friday morning, according to the Prisa statement.

El Pais last month appointed its first gender correspondent who was tasked with planning and improving its coverage of women and equality.

Spain’s King Felipe VI on Thursday swore in a new Socialist government which has the most women of any executive since Spain returned to democracy, and a bigger proportion of women than any other country in Europe.

Of 17 ministers, 11 are women and their portfolios include the key economy, defence, finance, justice, labour, education and health ministries.

Gallego-Diaz will take over on Sunday from Antonio Cano, who occupied the post since 2014, “and will remain linked to El Pais”, the statement said.

During his editorship, centre-left El Pais was highly critical of Pedro Sanchez, who became leader of the Socialist Party that year and was sworn in as prime minister on Saturday.

The New York Times, one of the most influential and widely read news organisations in the world, appointed its first female editor in 2011.

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