Maria Ressa, founder of Rappler.com, global press freedom advocate, and Fall 2021 Joan Shorenstein Fellow, was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize today.
In its announcement of the prize, which Ressa was awarded jointly with Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov, the Norwegian Nobel 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.”
The announcement goes on to say:
“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda. The Norwegian Nobel Committee 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.”
As a Fall 2021 Joan Shorenstein Fellow, Maria Ressa is working on research on social media and freedom of the press, and holding public events and engaging with students at the Kennedy School. She is also conjointly one of the Center for Public Leaderhip’s Fall 2021 Hauser Leaders.
Shorenstein Center Director Nancy Gibbs says, “Maria Ressa fearlessly fights for the free press at a moment when it is imperiled all around the world. Democracy needs such champions. The Shorenstein Center is proud to have her as part of our community this fall, to learn from her about the forces reshaping the press, and their direct impacts on politics and the health of free societies.”
“The Nobel Committee’s spotlight on journalists acknowledges the increased dangers we face today just to do our jobs,” says Maria Ressa. “In a battle for facts, journalism is activism. News rooms require new thinking and a re-evaluation of leadership: how do we turn our upside down world right side up? What values must guide us? I’m looking forward to working with the Center for Public Leadership as a Hauser Fellow and continuing Rappler’s investigations into information operations with the Shorenstein Center.”