Tuesday, January 18

Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov warn about threats to freedom of expression upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize

The Philippine journalist Maria Ressa and the Russian journalist Dmitri Muratov have made this Friday a defense of freedom of expression and have warned of the threats that he suffers throughout the world after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in the city of Oslo.

Maria Ressa, the journalist who challenged the president of the Philippines and faces 12 years in prison

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“We need information ecosystems that live and die with facts. We will do so by changing social priorities to rebuild 21st century journalism while regulating and prohibiting economic control that benefits from hatred and lies,” Ressa said in his speech.

The two journalists have been awarded “for their efforts to defend freedom of expression, a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” according to the ruling of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Ressa has spoken of the need to “embrace” new technologies, an idea shared by Muratov.

“We are journalists, our mission is clear: to distinguish between fact and fiction. The new generation of professionals knows how to work with data,” said the co-founder and director of the newspaper Novaya gazeta, who gave as an example its use to reveal the transport of refugees from the Middle East to Belarus.

Ressa, who runs the digital medium Rappler, has pointed to the “moral game of power and money” driven by social networks controlled by large US corporations and which he considers a “foundational threat” against, for example, the elections.

Thus he denounced that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the late dictator, leads the electoral race in the Philippines thanks to an “extensive network of disinformation on social networks”, which has been exposed by Rappler, just like President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

“In less than two years, the Philippine Government issued ten arrest warrants against me, I have had to post bail ten times to do my job. Last year, I and a former colleague were convicted of defamation for a story published eight years earlier. when the law allegedly violated did not even exist, “he lamented.

Ressa, who has been able to travel to Norway after the Court of Appeals authorized it a week ago, is immersed in several legal proceedings for her journalistic investigations and risks being sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Journalism in Russia is going through “a dark valley”, Muratov has said, and has denounced that a hundred journalists, media and activists have been branded as “foreign agents” and some have had to leave the country.

Director of Novaya gazeta has assured that torture is “common practice” in Russia and that criminal cases are often based on “false accusations and political motives”, as in the case of the opposition Alexei Navalni.

Muratov has denounced the geopolitical “games” in Eastern Europe and lamented that an open war between Russia and Ukraine “is no longer impossible”.

The president of the Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, has indicated that democracy is “under pressure and in retreat”, as is freedom of expression and that hate speech, fake news and polarization are a global phenomenon.

With the award ceremony, Ressa and Muratov have succeeded the UN World Food Program (WFP), awarded last year for its work in the fight against hunger in the world. The awarding of the Nobel to the journalists was preceded by the acceptance speech of the UN WFP director, David Beasley, who last year was unable to travel to Oslo after the ceremony was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.