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Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov win 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

By CAMILLE SANTIAGO Published Oct 08, 2021 5:49 pm Updated Oct 08, 2021 6:27 pm

This year's Nobel Peace Prize was given to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov of Russia.

On Friday, Oct. 8, the Norwegian Nobel Committee led by chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen announced that the journalists won the prestigious award “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

Ressa, a veteran journalist and co-founder of Rappler, has led the fight for press freedom in the Philippines, fearlessly covering and criticizing the Duterte government despite the attacks she has been receiving and libel case.

Reacting to the win, Ressa explained that from the very beginning, her aim as a journalist was to fight for facts.

"When we live in a world where facts are debatable, when the world's largest distributor of news prioritizes the spread of lies laced with anger and hate and spreads it faster and further than facts, then journalism becomes activism," she said in an interview with Rappler.

"I guess what this just shows is that, that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee realized that a world without facts means a world without truth and trust. And if you don't have any of those things you certainly can't conquer Coronavirus, you can't conquer climate change," Ressa added.

Previously, she was named TIME Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time’s Most Influential Women of the Century.

Ressa also received recognition from BBC, Prospect Magazine, and more.

Muratov is also a prominent member of the Russian press who has spoken out against the Russian government, and have given importance to minority parties. Novaya Gazeta, of which he is the editor-in-chief, is "the only truly critical newspaper with national influence in Russia today," as per the Committee to Protect Journalists.

He won an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2007, a Legions of Honor order in 2010, and Golden Pen of Freedom award by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in 2016 to name a few.