In their acceptance speeches in Oslo, Norway, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winners Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov issued a clarion call to the world to support and defend independent journalism in an era awash in misinformation, propaganda, and rising authoritarianism. Rappler co-founder and CEO Ressa noted in her Nobel speech (which starts at the 57:30 mark in the video above) that the last time a journalist was honored with the Peace Prize was 1936, but the recipient was unable to receive the award because he was languishing in a Nazi concentration camp. “By giving this to journalists today, the Nobel committee is signaling a similar historical moment, another existential point for democracy,” Ressa said.
In his Nobel speech (beginning at the 1:17:45 mark, and translated from Russian into English here), Novaya Gazeta editor-in-chief Muratov likewise hailed the pair’s Peace Prizes as a symbolic gesture that recognizes the invaluable role of the press in holding power to account. “We understand that the award today goes to the entire community of investigative journalists,” he said. Muratov concluded his speech with a warning that myriad attacks on journalists around the world not only represent a frontal assault on a free press, but the ideals of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law as well. “We are the prerequisite for progress,” he proclaimed. “We are the antidote against tyranny.”
Note: GIJN is hosting A Conversation with Nobel Laureate Dmitry Muratov on Tuesday, December 14, at 9:00 am ET. Please join us!