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Journalists Maria Ressa, Dmitry Muratov, Win Nobel Peace Prize For Fighting For Press Freedom

Journalists Maria Ressa, Dmitry Muratov win Nobel Peace Prize

Photo Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/Shutterstock & Aaron Favila/AP/Shutterstock

Two journalists were honored on Friday with the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts fighting for freedom of the press. 

Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitri A. Muratov of Russia were announced as prize recipients by the Norwegian Nobel Committee and lauded for “their courageous fight for freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” as per The New York Times.

“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,” the committee said in a statement released after the announcement in Oslo.

The CEO of Philippine online news website Rappler, Fulbright scholar, and former Time magazine Person of the Year, Ressa is best known for being critical of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's regime. Muratov is the editor-in-chief at the Russian sociopolitical newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Both journalists have endured legal and physical threats in response to their work.

Of their achievements and perseverance, the committee’s statement celebrated Ressa for showing how “social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.” Ressa called Muratov out as a person who “consistently defended the right of journalists to write anything they want about whatever they want, as long as they comply with the professional and ethical standards of journalism.”

Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, also reportedly called the pair "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” and that they were selected to "underscore the importance of protecting and defending these fundamental rights."

Notably, Ressa is the 18th woman in the 120-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize to win the award. The Times reports that she said of the honor on Rappler’s Facebook Live platform that she hoped the award was a “recognition of how difficult it is to be a journalist today.”

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