Philippines' Ressa, Russia's Muratov; journalists win Nobel Peace Prize
Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 for "their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression." While Ressa is a Philippines-based investigative journalist, Muratov is the editor-in-chief of an independent Russian newspaper. Nobel Prizes for Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Literature were announced earlier this week and the Nobel Committee will announce the Nobel for Economics on Monday.
While announcing the award, the Nobel Committee noted that "freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public." "Free, independent, and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies, and war propaganda." It said awards to Ressa and Muratov were "intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights."
Talking about this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee said, "Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament, and a better world order to succeed in our time."
Maria Ressa is a Philippines-based investigative journalist. She is also the co-founder and CEO of a digital media company named Rappler. The Nobel Committee noted the critical role played by Rappler against the "Duterte regime's controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign." Ressa and Rappler also document the role played by social media to spread "fake news, harass Opposition, and manipulate public discourse."
Talking about Ressa's journalistic contribution, the Nobel Committee said, "Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence, and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines." "As a journalist and the Rappler's CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression," the Academy noted, citing her works as a journalist.
Dmitry Muratov is one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta, where he has been working as editor-in-chief since 1995. According to the Committee, it is the "most" independent newspaper in Russia amid state censorship. The newspaper reportedly published articles on many critical issues such as corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud, and troll factories, the Committee said.
Further, the Nobel Committee noted that despite facing various intimidations through "threats and killings," Muratov has "refused to abandon the newspaper's independent policy." "He has consistently defended the right of journalists to write anything they want...as long as they comply with the professional and ethical standards of journalism." Notably, six journalists from Novaja Gazeta have been killed for their critical reporting.