Journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, recognised “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”.
The two were given the prestigious award “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said on Friday.
Ressa, who founded investigative journalism website Rappler, has focused much of her work on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial and violent war on drugs.
“I am in shock,” Ressa told a live broadcast by Rappler after learning of the award.
Muratov founded the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993 and has been its editor-in-chief for 24 years. It is today one of the very few independent media outlets in Russia, and has seen six of its journalists murdered during that time.
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. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and ”troll factories” to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.
“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.” reads the announcement.