Spain’s Pick to Lead News Agency Draws Criticism

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s pick of his former communications spokesperson to head the broadcaster was met with criticism. Opposition parties and some media say the choice could undermine the EFE’s credibility by making it seem as if the state-funded agency is close to the government. As the fourth largest news agency in the world, it plays a significant role in combating disinformation in Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Latin America.

The man nominated to head EFE — Miguel Angel Oliver Fernández — is a journalist who served as head of communications for Sanchez between 2018 and 2021.

When Sanchez’s government this month announced Oliver as its pick, opposition parties claimed the Socialist government is naming supporters to public office, undermining their impartiality.

They see the naming of a former government spokesperson as an apparent conflict of interest.