On Sunday the International Press Institute (IPI) issued a statement stating that the Nobel committee’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov was ‘a source of inspiration.’
On Friday the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 was awarded jointly to the two journalists. The prize was awarded to Maria Ressa for her efforts to ‘safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.’
Khadija Patel, chair of the IPI Board said: ‘Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov are exemplars of this profession. ‘They are, as well, stories in themselves of the struggles that journalists face every day. This is a recognition of the hard work that they have done. It is recognition as well of the struggles that they face and a sign that their courage is not in vain’, said Patel.
Patel described Ressa and Muratov as ‘exemplars of the profession.’
IPI awarded Ressa’s Rappler with the IPI-IMS Free Media Pioneer Award in 2018 in recognition of the news site’s innovative approach to journalism and audience engagement as well as its determination to hold authorities accountable despite aggressive attacks.
Ressa has been the target of repeated legal harassment in the Philippines due to her critical reporting. She faces nearly 100 years in prison if convicted in a slew of court cases related to alleged violations of tax and foreign ownership legislation and cyber libel.
Ressa is CEO and executive editor of the Philippines-based online news organization Rappler.com. Murazov is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
The Nobel committee said: ‘Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines,” the Nobel Committee noted in announcing the award today. “As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression.’
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Barbara Trionfi, executive director the IPI, said: ‘I hope the Nobel Peace Prize will be an eye-opener for the world and remind people of their responsibility to support and depend independent journalism in our countries and elsewhere. The IPI global network is immensely proud that IPI executive board member, Maria Ressa, and Dmitry Muratov, who won the IPI 2009 Free Media Pioneer Award on behalf of Novaya Gazeta, have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.’
Ressa is the first person from the Philippines to receive the Nobel peace prize.
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