PHOTO: Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Maria Ressa - Dmitrij MuratovPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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Freedom of information and expression is declining around the world, and democracy is on the retreat, Nobel Committee leader Berit Reiss-Andersen said on Friday.

“Journalists and a free and fact-based press are in the forefront of defending democracy,” Reiss-Andersen stated when journalists Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov from Russia were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo City Hall on Friday.

“Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov are participating in a war where the written word is their weapon, where the truth is their goal, and where any revelation of abuse of power is a victory,” Reiss-Andersen noted.

“Being a journalist is, for many, a high-risk profession. We must stand by their side,” she emphasized.

Nobel Peace Prize winners Dmitry Muratov from Russia, right, and Maria Ressa of the Philippines prepare to take off their masks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at Oslo City Hall, Norway, Friday, Dec 10, 2021. The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited Ressa and Muratov’s fight for freedom of expression, stressing that it is vital in promoting peace. Photo: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Supporting a free press

With the award, the Nobel Committee wants to focus on the connection between peace and security on the one hand and a free and fact-based press on the other.

“Planning for wars and genocides has never taken place in the public spotlight. Bringing the story to the public can – in itself – prevent war,” Reiss-Andersen added, pointing out that the role of the press is to uncover aggression and abuse of power.

“This is work that is done tirelessly by journalists every single day around the globe,” she said.

“For political leaders, it can be annoying and uncomfortable to be investigated. But the effects (of such efforts) are increased trust between leaders and most people,” Reiss-Andersen emphasized.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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