Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have just been announced the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021.
The Nobel Peace Prize is given to those “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” It is awarded by a committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget).
According to the Nobel Prize, the award was given to Ressa and Muratov for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.”
It adds, “Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they 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.”
Here’s how the Nobel Prize described Ressa:
Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population. Ms Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.
Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has defended freedom of speech in Russia. He is one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta, and has been its editor-in-chief since 1995.
The Nobel Prize also states, “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 Peace Prize has been awarded 102 times to 137 Nobel Prize laureates between 1901 and 2021. In total, 109 have been individuals while 28 were organizations.
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