The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Friday to journalist Maria Russa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited its fight for freedom of expression as the key to promoting peace.
“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” said committee chair Berit Rees-Andersen.
“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it would be difficult to successfully promote brotherhood among nations, promote disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our times,” she said.
Ressa co-founded Rapper, a news website in 2012 that “has a serious focus on the controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign of the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime,” the Nobel committee said.
She and the rapper have also “documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents, and manipulate public discourse.”
Responding to the news, Resa told Norway’s TV2 channel that “the government (of the Philippines) clearly would not be happy,”
“I’m a little surprised. It’s really emotional,” she said. “But I’m happy on behalf of my team and want to thank the Nobel Committee for recognizing everything we’re doing.”
Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993.
“The Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical approach to power,” the Nobel committee said.
The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on blasphemous aspects of Russian society that are rarely mentioned by other media.
The Nobel Committee noted that since the launch of the 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 described Muratov as a “talented and brave” man.
“We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov – he has consistently acted according to his ideals,” Peskov said in a conference call with journalists after the announcement of the award.
Rees-Anderson noted that the peace prize has gone to journalists in the past, including Italy’s Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, who was cited in 1907 “for his work in the press and in peace meetings”.
In 1935, Karl von Ossietzky was awarded the prize “for his burning love for freedom of thought and expression” after revealing that Germany was secretly re-armed after World War I.
Rees-Anderson also noted the risks of free speech in today’s world due to the spread of fake news, noting that Reesa has been critical of Facebook’s role in manipulating public debate. “The giving of fake news and information that is propaganda and untrue is also a violation of freedom of expression, and all freedom of expression has its limits. This is also a very important factor in this debate,” she said.
The coveted prize is accompanied by a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million). The prize money comes from a will left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.
On Monday, the Nobel committee awarded the Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Americans David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries about how the human body perceives temperature and touch.
The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded Tuesday to three scientists whose work helped explain and predict the complex forces of nature, including expanding our understanding of climate change.
Benjamin List and David W.C. Macmillan were named as the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for discovering an easy and environmentally clean way to manufacture molecules that can be used in compounds including drugs and pesticides. can be done to create.
The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded Thursday to UK-based Tanzanian author Abdulrajak Gurnah, who was recognized for his “uncompromising and compassionate admission of the effects of colonialism and the fate of a refugee”.
The coming Monday is the prize for outstanding work in field economics.
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