Two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov, were awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Friday’s announcement.
The two received the award “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.”
Ressa is co-founder of the news site Rappler in the Philippines, which “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,” Reiss-Andersen said.
Rappler is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles. The IFCN at Poynter was launched in 2015 to bring together the growing community of fact-checkers around the world and advocates of factual information in the global fight against misinformation.
Muratov, who co-founded the newspaper Novaya Gazeta in Russia “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.”
Reuters reports this is the first time a journalist has been awarded the prize since 1935, when it went to German journalist Carl von Ossietzky for his coverage of Germany’s post-war rearmament campaign. The prize comes with more than $1.14 million.
Here’s Ressa’s reaction when she heard the news: