Rappler’s Maria Ressa wins Nobel Peace Prize

Photo: Maria Ressa Facebook.
Photo: Maria Ressa Facebook.

Rappler CEO and veteran journalist Maria Ressa is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021, the award-giving body announced.

Ressa, together with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were both recognized for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

The Nobel Prize committee wrote, “Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov are receiving the peace prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”

Ressa is the first Filipino to be awarded the Nobel prize.

The Nobel prize cited Ressa’s usage of the freedom of expression “to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.”

Ressa was a former journalist at independent production company Probe with Che Che Lazaro in 1987 and simultaneously headed CNN Manila’s bureau until 1995. She also worked at CNN’s Jakarta bureau from 1995 to 2005, where she specialized in investigating terrorist networks.

Ressa became the news chief of ABS-CBN from 2014 to 2010. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads.

Ressa was included in Time’s Person of the Year 2018 as one of the journalists around the world combating fake news.

“As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression.”

The body also recognized Rappler’s reportage 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.”

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public. These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protect against war and conflict.”

“The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights. Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time.”

READ: EU Parliament urges gov’t to drop charges against Maria Ressa, grant ABS-CBN franchise

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