NORWAY: Philippines jounalist Maria Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Journalism, an award which is an endorsement of free speech rights under threat worldwide.
Chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in a conference, “They are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions. Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda.”
After receiving the award, Muratov dedicated his award to six contributors to his Novaya Gazeta newspaper who had been murdered for their work exposing human rights violations and corruption. He said, “Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Stas Markelov, Anastasia Baburova, Natasha Estemirova – these are the people who have today won the Nobel Prize.”
On the other hand, Ressa, who has been facing years of legal cases in Philippines over the work of her Rappler website, said the prize would help her organisation’s mission. She further added, “We’re going through a dark time, a difficult time, but I think that we hold the line.”