Campaigning journalists from the Philippines and Russia have won the 2021 Nobel peace prize as the Norwegian committee recognised the vital importance of an independent media to democracy and warned it was increasingly under assault.
Maria Ressa, the chief executive and cofounder of Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, were named as this year’s laureates by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel committee.
Ressa, 58, a former CNN bureau chief in the Philippines, and Rappler, the news site she founded in 2012, have faced multiple criminal charges and investigations after publishing stories critical of President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody drugs war.
In emotional comments aired on Rappler’s Facebook page, she said: “This is a recognition of how hard it is to be a journalist today. How hard it is to keep doing what we do … It’s a recognition of the difficulties, but also hopefully of how we’re going to win the battle for truth. The battle for facts. We hold the line.”
Muratov, 59, who was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor-in-chief since 1995, told the Telegram news service Podyom: “We will continue to represent Russian journalism, which is now being suppressed. That’s all.” (UK Guardian)