Raul Peñaranda U. is a Bolivian journalist and political analyst. He is currently the editor of Brújula Digital (Digital Compass), a news and opinions portal. He has been a reporter, correspondent, section editor, managing editor and editor in chief of several newspapers, besides university professor, TV commentator and author.
He is the founding editor of three newspapers in Bolivia: Nueva Economía (1993), La Época (2001) and Página Siete (2010), now one of the most important newspapers in the country. After that he launched Brujula Digital.
He received the Harvard University’s Nieman fellowship in 2008. During his academic year at Harvard, he focused on issues related to development, democracy and political conflict; in 2017 he obtained the Reagan-Fascell fellowship, granted by the National Endowment of Democracy, that allowed him to stay for one semester in Washington DC. He’s interest during his Washington stay was to analyze democracies in risk. He was the first Bolivian in getting both fellowships.
Peñaranda has also received numerous awards, among them the Maria Moors Cabot award, given by Columbia University (2015). He is the fourth Bolivian receiving it in 80 years. He has also received the Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Award, SIP-IAPA (2016); the LASA media Award, in Chicago (2014); the United Nations’ Elizabeth Neuffer Medal (handed in NYC by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in 2012); the Universidad San Francisco de Asis’ and the Association of Journalists of La Paz’ Defense of Freedom of Expression Awards (2012, 2013); and the Franz Tamayo Intellectual Merit and the Bautista Saavedra medals (gold, 2004, 2017), handed by the Bolivian Journalists’ Association.
He is the author or co-author of 11 books related to contemporary political processes in Bolivia and about the relation between politics and the media (see list). His book “Remote Control: How Evo Morales’ Government Created a Network of Para-Governmental Media and a Plan to Harass the Independent Press”, is considered very influential and was a best seller for a political book in the country (seven editions sold out).
He also coordinated (2015) a book in English, financed by the British government. The book is titled “From Military Dictatorships to Evo Morales populism, History of Bolivian democracy”). The text had a previous Spanish version, also edited by Peñaranda.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the Bolivian Catholic University, a diploma in Advanced Journalism from the University Andina and a master’s degree in Corporative Communications by the Universidad del Atlántico (Spain).