Rappler’s Maria Ressa wins Nobel Peace Prize

Cover photo: From Maria Ressa’s Facebook page

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.

Courtesy of Nobel Committee

The Nobel Committee said that “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.”

Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.

Braving Press Freedom: Maria Ressa / Journalist – Direct Talk | NHK WORLD-JAPAN On Demand

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 for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions.

“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.” the Committee noted. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public. These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protect against war and conflict. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights.

“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. This year’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize is therefore firmly anchored in the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will.”