The Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and the Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were chosen as the winners of the award for their commitment to freedom of expression
Two journalists were announced as 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winners for their commitment to the fight for freedom of expression.
Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were named winners of the prestigious award today.
The Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Berit Reiss-Andersen announced today: “Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov received the Peace Prize for their courageous struggle for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.
“At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who advocate this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press are exposed to increasingly adverse conditions.”
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She added: “Free, independent and fact-based journalism protects against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.
“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult in our time to successfully promote international brotherhood, disarmament and a better world order.”
In 2012, Ms. Ressa co-founded Rappler, a news website that “has drawn critical attention to the controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign of the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime”.
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The Nobel Committee said Ms. Ressa and Rappler had “also documented how social media are used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse”.
Ms. Ressa told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that “the government (of the Philippines) is obviously not going to be happy”.
She added, “I’m a little shocked. It’s really emotional.
“But I am happy on behalf of my team and I would like to thank the Nobel Committee for recognizing what we are going through.”
Mr. Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993.
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The committee said: “Novaya Gazeta is today the most independent newspaper in Russia with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.
“The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on reprehensible aspects of Russian society that are seldom mentioned by other media outlets.”
The Nobel Committee found that since Novaya Gazeta launched, six of its journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, who covered Russia’s bloody conflict in Chechnya.
The Kremlin also congratulated Mr. Muratov, although its Novaya Gazeta newspaper has received frequent criticism from the Russian authorities.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov.
“He persistently works according to his own ideals, he is devoted to them, he is talented, he is brave.”
For the first time since 1935, when the German Carl von Ossietzky received it for unveiling his country’s secret post-war armament program, the award is being presented to journalists for the first time.
The official award will be given on December 10th, the anniversary of the death of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who established the awards in his will of 1895.
The award was given to those individuals or organizations who “have done the most or best work for brotherhood among nations”.
The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (£ 836,000).