The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. "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," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
PRIO Director Henrik Urdal applauds the prize. "We have waited for a media prize for a long time. The Nobel Committee has put focus on an area that is worthy of attention," says Urdal, who has listed media organizations or journalists on each of his Nobel Peace Prize Shortlists over the last five years.
Dmitry Muratov is a Russian journalist and the Editor-in-Chief of Novaya Gazeta, one of the few critical and investigative newspapers left in Russia. During his time as Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Novaya Gazeta, six journalist working for the paper have been murdered. The paper marked 15 years since the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, one of their most prominent journalists, yesterday. Novaya Gazeta was also listed on former Director Kristian Berg Harpviken's shortlist in 2015.
Maria Ressa is a Filipino-American journalist who has been an outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. She is Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler, a Philippine online news website that has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime's anti-drug campaign.
Ressa is also a member of the Reporters Without Borders International Initiative on Information and Democracy, which PRIO co-founded with eleven other organizations in 2019.
"This is a prize for journalist that have been extremely critical of their governments and the prize recognizes the enormous personal costs that these journalists have endured as a result of their profession," says Urdal.