Nobel Peace Prize 2021 awarded to journalists Dmitry Muratov, Maria Ressa
Oslo, October 9: The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday announced the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their 'courageous efforts' to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia respectively.
Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov is one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and Maria Ressa is a journalist and the co-founder and CEO of the Philippines-based investigative news outlet Rappler.
"Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines, while Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism which was co-founded and is still being headed by Ressa, has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign," the Nobel committee said in a statement.
"Ressa and her Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse," it added.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, one of the founders and the editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions.
"Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power, and 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's statement read.
"Since its start-up in 1993, Novaya Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and 'troll factories' to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia," it added.
"Since the newspaper’s start, six of its journalists have been killed, and despite the killings and threats, editor-in-chief Muratov has refused to abandon the newspaper’s independent policy," according to the Nobel committee.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has said the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending the fundamental rights— freedom of expression and freedom of information— as free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.
"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," the committee said in a media statement.