OSLO, 8 Oct 2021:
Journalists María Ressa and Dmitry Muratov were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize today for their courageous fight for human rights in the Philippines and Russia, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
The committee highlighted the journalists’ “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
Both Ressa and Muratov “are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
A former CNN newsreader, Ressa co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, in 2012 and uses her platform to challenge Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte’s regime using “freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country,” the Committee said.
“Ressa has been the target of attacks for her media organisation’s critical coverage of president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration and a key leader in the global fight against disinformation,” Rappler said in a statement.
The journalist has become the first Filipino to be awarded a Nobel prize.
Muratov, “has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions,” the Committee noted.
He co-founded independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor-in-chief since 1995.
“The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media,” the Nobel Committee said.
Since the newspaper launched six of its journalists have been assassinated. The publication has covered myriad areas including corruption, police brutality, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud, the committee added.
“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public,” the committee added.
The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one of the six prizes that is awarded in Oslo following Alfred Nobel’s wish for a Norwegian Committee to issue this prize. All other Nobel prizes are awarded by the Swedish Academy.