I am very pleased to announce that Aritz Parra has been appointed as news director for Southern Europe.Aritz needs no introduction to you all as he is already a strong editorial voice and leader in Spain and across Europe. In his new role he will lead the southern region that includes Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He will be based in Madrid and starts his new role later this month. He will travel regularly to Rome as well as the other key regional bureaus.
Aritz is an excellent journalist with a wide skillset in both print and video and impressive leadership experience gained in Spain, standing in for Karl Ritter as Southern Europe leader on a number of occasions and most recently working to help coordinate the coverage of the Ukraine war. He has shown himself to be calm, thoughtful and insightful – all qualities vital in his new role.Aritz joined the AP in 2012 as the agency’s senior producer in Beijing, leading video coverage of the beginning of the Xi Jinping era, a shifting economy, the erosion of individual and civil rights, and the impact of pollution and climate change among others. He also covered breaking news, including natural and man-made tragedies, in Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and in some of the most challenging countries for journalists: Myanmar and North Korea.Upon relocating to Madrid, in late 2016, he pivoted from video back to print as the primary format, writing stories for both English and Spanish-language audiences. Since then, he has led the Iberia Peninsula’s coverage on elections, extremist attacks, the rise of far-right populism, deadly wildfires, the reverberations of the Venezuelan crisis, separatism in Catalonia, Spain’s painful reckoning with its recent history, a volcano eruption, the multi-layered issue of migration to Europe and the conflict in Western Sahara. The Iberia team’s reporting on the first year of the devastating coronavirus pandemic was recognized with a Gramling Award.Please join me in congratulating Aritz.James