Rappler CEO and co-founder Maria Ressa has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021.
Ressa was named as co-winner with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who co-founded the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta and had been its editor-in-chief for 24 years. The journalists were recognised for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”.
The Nobel Prize committee said: “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, who co-founded Rappler – an MDIF client – in 2012, was recognised for using freedom of expression “to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.” She was also described as “a fearless defender of freedom of expression”.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that it 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.”