OSLO – Two journalists whose work has angered officials in Russia and the Philippines were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, honoring the right to free speech, which the prize-giving committee called a worldwide threat. as described.
The prize was awarded to Maria Reisa and Dmitry Muratov “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia,” Norwegian Nobel Committee chair Berit Rees-Andersen said at a news conference.
“At the same time, they are representative of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world where democracy and freedom of the press continue to face adversity,” he said.
The award is a first for journalists since German Karl von Ossietzky won it in 1935 for revealing his country’s secret post-war re-arming program.
“Independent, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” Rees-Anderson said.
Muratov is the editor-in-chief of the Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has challenged the Kremlin under President Vladimir Putin with investigations of wrongdoing and corruption, and has covered large-scale conflicts in Ukraine.
He is the first Russian to win the Nobel Peace Prize since Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev – who himself helped establish Novaya Gazeta in 1990 with money from winning the prize.
Resa is the head of Rappler, a digital media company she co-founded in 2012, and which has grown to prominence through investigative reporting, including mass murders during the police campaign against drugs.
“I’m in shock,” Resa told a live broadcast by the rapper.
In August, a Philippine court dismissed a defamation case against Resa, one of several lawsuits filed against the journalist, who it says has been targeted because her news site’s critical report on President Rodrigo Duterte.
One of several journalists named Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for fighting media intimidation, Resa’s plight has sparked international concern about media harassment in the Philippines, a country once best known for press freedom in Asia. was seen as a standard-bearer. .
In Moscow, Nadezhda Prusenkova, a journalist for the Novata Gazeta, said Reuters employees were surprised and delighted.
“We are shocked. We did not know,” said Prusenkova. “Of course we’re happy and that’s really cool.”
The Kremlin itself congratulated Muratov on the award.
“He constantly acts according to his ideals, he is dedicated to them, he is talented, he is brave,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said the award would both give journalists greater international visibility and could inspire a new generation of journalists.
“We generally expect that more visibility actually means more protections for the rights and safety of the individuals concerned,” he told Reuters.
The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented on December 10, the death anniversary of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who established the prizes in his 1895 will.