Journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia were awarded Nobel Peace Prize 2021 on Friday.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledged their fight for freedom of expression, stressing that it is vital in promoting peace.
Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies, and war propaganda, said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the committee.
Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament, and better world order to succeed in our time,” she said.
Ressa in 2012 co-founded Rappler, a news website that has focused critical attention on the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign, the Nobel committee said.
Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993.
Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power, the Nobel committee said.
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, it added.
The Nobel committee noted that since the launch of Novaya Gazeta, six of its journalists have been killed, among them Anna Politkovskaya who covered Russia’s bloody conflict in Chechnya. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov hailed Muratov as a talented and brave person.
The prestigious award is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.
(With PTI inputs)