Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has organized this Sunday a tribute to the TVE journalist Alicia Gómez Montano, director of Weekly report between 2004 and 2012, publisher of Equality of public television since October 2018 and vice president of the entity that watches over the freedom of the press in the world. From the journalist, who died on Saturday in Madrid at age 64 due to cancer, her colleagues have highlighted her irony, her caustic humor, her humility and her defense of the public service. Due to her curriculum and her management project, Gómez Montano was the candidate who obtained the most points (83.57 out of 100) from among the hundred candidates who attended the public contest called by Parliament to elect the board of directors and the president of the corporation.
The paralysis of this process, in part by the two general elections held in 2019, keeps the RTVE management bodies in an interim situation. For a year and a half the corporation has no president or board of directors. The highest authority is Rosa María Mateo, as the sole provisional administrator. The renewal of positions requires a qualified majority in Congress and the Senate, but the opposition parties have not shown signs of trying to reach a solid agreement.
During the act of homage, Fran Llorente, former director of TVE News, creator of The 2 News and currently responsible for Projects and Strategy, he explained the many gifts that Gomez Montano had: wisdom, intelligence, ingenuity, humor, warmth and ethical firmness “in defense of the principles of the profession he loved.” In addition, he practiced the gift of multiplication. “His days had 30 hours.” And also the gift of making those around her better people. “It made me a better person, a journalist and a boss,” Llorente said while valuing the “global look” of Gomez Montano, which he referred to as “a transmedia journalist.”
The president of the Spanish section of RSF, Alfonso Armada, recalled that the vice president of this organization did not like hyperbole or exaggeration. And I didn’t want to be the center of the news either. Armada has confessed that its intention was to propose it to be in charge of RSF. And she could also have been the president of RTVE if a public contest in which she was the most valued had not been paralyzed a year ago.
Pepa Bueno, director and presenter of the news Hour 25He worked closely with Gómez Montano on TVE before joining the SER. Of her he has highlighted his laughter, his intelligence and his humor. José Miguel Contreras, who shared a radio and television course in his professional beginnings, has emphasized his humility and curiosity. “I wanted to know everything until the last minute. In the last days I asked who had been the last politician to screw up.”
RTVE journalists have claimed the work of Gómez Montano to dignify public television. He always opted for a large company, with sufficient financing, little publicity, profitable, that optimizes his human resources, with a quality and independent programming. “I know there are many things, but it is possible. It happens on the BBC, on the ARD, on Belgian TV, on the Dutch, on the Finnish, in Sweden, in Norway … in Australia, in Canada, Why am I going to give up being part of the best public television group in the world? “He wondered.
From its beginnings, four decades ago, in the territorial center of TVE in Navarra, its head of that time, José María Esteban, has evoked the difficulties involved in making information in the early eighties of the regional community. “There were a lot of political pressures, but Alicia endured impertérrita. The HB of that time threw pesetas in its path, with what that represented.” Esteban has remarked that the Madrid journalist always maintained ideological coherence. And he also cultivated his commitment to public television, which he saw as a service to citizens.
In addition to a large group of RTVE professionals, the tribute organized by RSF was attended, among others, by Juan Tortosa, José Antonio Martínez Soler, Mercedes Milá, Ana Cañil, Joaquín Estefanía and the director of EL PAÍS, Soledad Gallego-Díaz. At the end of the act it sounded in the background Qualsevol nit pot sort the sunby Jaume Sisa