Nobel Peace Prize commends independent journalism as precondition for peace

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday, October 8, that the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 will be awarded to heads of independent media in Russia and the Philippines, Dmitry Muratov and Maria Ressa, respectively.
According to a press release of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Ressa and 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,» the committee evaluated.
Maria Ressa was seen as using 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, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wrote.
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As to Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, the committee evaluated that he has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. «In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, 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 censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media,» the press release reads.