The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 has been awarded to Maria Ressa for her efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Maria shares her award with journalist Dmitry Muratov.
Maria uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence, and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.
In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Maria has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s population. Maria and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.
In its press release, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies, and war propaganda.
The panel is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public. These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protection against war and conflict.
“The award to Maria and Dmitry is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights”, the release said.
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.
This year’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize is therefore firmly anchored in the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will.