The City Paper, Colombia’s first free English newspaper, was awarded, Wednesday, during a ceremony at the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications, with Colombia’s highest recognition in media, the Manuel Murillo Toro medal. The ceremony was presided by the Minister of Communications Juan Sebastián Rozo, and who gave the bronze medal to The City Paper’s General Manager and co-founder María Claudia Peña. “The City Paper has shown that it offers a profound understanding of Colombia,” remarked the Minister. “In ten years, the paper has contributed to an objective and informed coverage of this country, many Colombians are still beginning to discover.”

The City Paper’s María Claudia Peña delivered a speech in which she highlighted the newspaper’s accomplishments during a decade, and growth of both the organization’s print and digital editions. “Among the many reasons The City Paper was founded, one of the most important was to correct a mistaken imaginary that the world has about Colombia and, in the process, make visible those, famous or anonymous, who have contributed to the development of the country, as well as to the rich and diverse culture that defines and distinguishes Colombians.”

The City Paper was founded on April 9, 2008, by the Canadian photojournalist and editor Richard Emblin and investigative journalist María Claudia Peña. The newspaper began with a monthly circulation of 10,000 issues. During its first decade, the newspaper has grown to include over 400 national distribution points, as well as an online platform www.thecitypaperbogota.com

“The City Paper ventured into the publishing world at a time when the industry was transitioning from analog to digital, and in which many predicted the end of print. By consolidating its brand identity, The City Paper launched its website on January 1, 2013, six years after our first edition,” remarked María Claudia.

“It’s a pleasure to publicly acknowledge the avant-garde undertakings and ideas that visionaries like Richard Emblin and María Claudia Peña, founders of The City Paper represent in Colombia, because they go beyond the traditional and take risks to realize editorial projects,” remaked Rozo.

The Minister also thanked the co-founders “in the name of Colombia” for having contributed to the growth of media culture in the country and “sharing with the world, stories that go beyond headlines.”

The ceremony at the Manuel Murillo Toro building in downtown Bogotá was attended by the newspaper’s staff, journalists, editors and friends of The City Paper.

MinTIC Minister Juan Sebastián Rozo and The City Paper's María Claudia Peña
MinTIC Minister Juan Sebastián Rozo and The City Paper’s María Claudia Peña