Business & Economy

Gabriela Cañas: ‘Scarcity is biggest threat to press freedom’

Alida Juliani

Madrid, May 1 (EFE).- Wherever there is freedom of the press in the world, “scarcity is its greatest threat”, a peril that affects both public and private media and that can only be tackled with “the structural strength of journalistic companies”, says the president of Agencia EFE, Gabriela Cañas.

May 3 is International Press Freedom Day, a right that does not exist in many countries. But when it is taken for granted in others, “it exposes you to all kinds of pressures, and that is fatal, because you also have an appearance of freedom that deep down you don’t have, which is almost the worst thing,” Cañas says in an interview.

The president of EFE arrived a year ago at the Spanish international news agency with the added “weight” of being the first woman at the head of the institution in its 82-year history and with the aim of boosting its already established reputation in the world news scene.

But it is not a particularly heavy “weight”, as she never thought that her current position was unattainable. Perhaps it is the result of her upbringing: “I never thought about it. We were four sisters and my father was an enthusiast of the four of us, anything we did seemed good to him,” Cañas explains.

And now, at 63, the fact of being one of the few women in the world to hold such a position represents a personal challenge as well as the chance of “being an example”.

“A few days ago we analyzed the top ten agencies in the world and we saw that the only one with a woman at the helm is EFE. This should not only be a mirror for women, but also for men and for the whole sector, which is very masculinized, and a spur for other agencies to think about what they are doing”, she says.


A steadfast feminist, “because feminism is equality,” Cañas has been involved in equality issues throughout her career: “I have always been interested in them, they have always seemed very important to me. There was a time when I thought the battle was lost, I didn’t see the impetus from women”.

However, she appreciates that at present things are changing “in a very radical and positive way”, both socially and journalistically.

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