The Nobel Peace Prize to recognize two journalists
The award recognizes the work of Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov for press freedom
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The Norwegian Committee has announced that it is awarding this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov, both journalists, for their defence of press freedom and their denunciation of abuses of power in the Philippines and Russia. The jury thus recognizes his "valiant fight to defend human rights and freedom of expression."
The president of the Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, has affirmed that the two winners represent "all journalists who defend these ideals in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly difficult conditions." She explained that free and independent journalism serves to protect against abuses of power.
The last time a journalist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was in 1935 when the award was given to the German Carl von Ossietzky for his articles on the secret rearmament of Germany between the First and Second World Wars.
In an interview in the media where the journalist works, Ressa said: “I don't think this award is for me, it is for Rappler. I have said it, we have done it since 2016: fight for the facts." In a world where facts are discussed, the journalist believes that practising journalism is a form of activism.
Ressa is a co-founder of Rappler, an independent media outlet in the Philippines. Her revelations about scandals in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte have earned her ten arrest warrants in just two years. She affirms that facts are necessary for the world to have truth and trust. Because without it, it isn't possible to fight, for example, neither against the coronavirus nor against climate change.
In 2020, Ressa was sentenced to six years in jail for "cyber defamation," a case that is still pending appeal. The journalist herself left the courts calm on that occasion and on many other occasions. She believes that journalism "has never been more important than now, and yet carrying out this work has become so difficult."
The journalist, in statements to the Russian news agency Tass, said: “I cannot take credit for it, which is Novaya Gazeta. Of those who died defending the right to freedom of expression. Now that they are no longer with us, probably (the Nobel committee) has decided that I should tell everyone. "
Igor Domnikov, Yura Shchekochikhin, Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya, Nastya Baburova, Natasha Estemirova and Stas Markelov are some of the journalists killed in Russia in recent years for their work and to whom Muratov has dedicated the Nobel Prize. The award is a wake-up call for the Russian government because it rewards one of the few publications critical of the Kremlin that remain in the country.
Novaya Gazeta has uncovered in recent years several cases of corruption of the Russian government and the Russian oligarchy, exclusives as the factories of “trolls” in social networks and other human rights violations. Also the use of mercenaries from private companies as a secret arm of the Kremlin abroad or persecution of LGBTQ+ people.