The Nobel Peace Prize for this year has been presented to Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia.
Muratov was one of the founders the Novaja Gazeta Independent Newspaper, while Ressa co-founded the Rappler website.
Berit Reiss -Andersen, Chair of the Committee in Oslo, said that both journalists were honored “for their efforts towards safeguarding freedom of expression which is a precondition to democracy and lasting peace.”
Ressa, 58 years old, is a former CNN journalist who was also co-founder of Rappler’s online information site. She has been the victim of intense cyberbullying and has been the subject of numerous investigations and legal proceedings in recent years. Rappler published articles critical about Rodrigo Duterte as head of state. This includes his controversial and bloody fight against drug trafficking.
After receiving the Nobel Prize news, Ressa stated that “nothing is possible without facts” and said that it was “the best time” to become a journalist. In an interview with Rappler, she said that the most dangerous times are also those when journalistic work can be most important. Ressa, who is also American, received in April the Unesco/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom 2021 Prize. This prize was established in honor of Guillermo Cano, a Colombian journalist assassinated in 1986.
The reporter stated that journalism will put you through your paces mentally, intellectually and physically. She also acknowledged that Rappler wouldn’t have survived without the help it received during the five years of harassment from the Philippine authorities. Time magazine named Ressa Personality of Year in 2018 for her resistance to Duterte’s misinformation apparatus.
Ressa is also facing seven criminal charges, including those for tax evasion as well as violating media property laws. In June 2020, she was found guilty of cyberdefamation in a Philippine court. She was sentenced to cyberdefamation by a Philippine court in June 2020.
Muratov, a 59-year old Russian journalist, is the editor-in-chief and one of the founding editors of Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper. The Nobel jury concluded that he “has for decades protected freedom of expression in Russia, under increasingly difficult circumstances.” The committee noted that Novaya Gazeta had exposed corruption, police violence and illegal arrests, as well as electoral fraud, and “troll farms”. Six Novaya Gazeta journalists have been killed to date.
Muratov gave the award to them by saying, “I can’t claim credit for it. It comes from Novaya Gazeta. He said that it was one of the people who died fighting for freedom of expression.” “I would vote for the person that the bookmakers bet on and that person has the entire future ahead of him. Muratov spoke of Russia’s opposition politician as Alexei Navalni.
The Kremlin gave praise to the reporter after the announcement. Dimitri Peskov (spokesman for Russia’s Presidency) said, “We congratulate Dimitri Muratov. He works based upon his ideals, and is committed to them.”
Novaya Gazeta was founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev. He used exactly a portion of the Nobel Peace Prize money he received three years prior to create the organization. After the announcement of the award, the ex-Soviet president said, “I congratulated a wonderful, brave, and honest man. A journalist, my friend Dimitri Muratov.”
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, congratulated the winners and called for greater global support for freedom of press.
Ressa is this year’s first female recipient of the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize winners will return to Stockholm Monday for the Economics award, following the announcement of the Peace Prize, which was the only one made in Oslo.