Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov were hardly household names in the West before they shared the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize last week, but they deserve to be.
Ressa, who co-founded the news website Rappler, was praised for using freedom of expression to “expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism” in her native Philippines.
Muratov, co-founder of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has defended Press freedom in Russia for decades.
Their unwavering commitment to journalism’s watchdog function has led to significant threats against them.
Ressa was last year convicted of defamation in a case seen as a test of media freedom in the Philippines, while Muratov has seen six of his colleagues murdered. The Nobel committee said the pair were “representative of all journalists who stand up for freedom of expression”.
In this age of fake news, the Nobel award reminds us that a free Press really is the lifeblood of democracy — whether in Manila, Moscow, or closer to home.