Oslo (Norway) | Jagran News Desk: Philippines journalist Maria Ressa and her Russian counterpart Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov were awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace". The announcement was made by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Norway's Oslo.

Making the announcement, Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said that Ressa and Muratov -- who are representatives of all journalists -- stood up for their ideals and fought courageously for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that Ressa, who is the co-founder of investigative digital media firm Rappler, exposed abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in the Philippines. It said that Ressa, as a journalist, 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 own population. Ms Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse," it said.

Talking about Muratov, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that the Russian journalist has defended the freedom of speech in his country under "increasingly challenging conditions". Muratov, it said, founded Novaja Gazeta in 1993, an independent newspaper which has a "fundamentally critical attitude towards power".

"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," it said.

Muratov "has consistently defended the right of journalists to write anything they want about whatever they want, as long as they comply with the professional and ethical standards of journalism," it added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma