A journalist known for her tough reporting of the regime of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte received word this morning that she will receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
The awards committee announced Maria Ressa, co-founder of the news site Rappler, will receive the award along with fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov, reported the BBC.
Muratov co-founded the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta which has challenged freedom of speech in Russia.
Ressa shared her reaction to the news on Rappler, saying the website faces the daily danger of being shutdown by the Philippine government.
“If you keep the North Star ahead of you,” she said, “you know, you protect the facts, you hold power to account, you exercise the right that is in the Philippine constitution. That’s what we did, and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”
Ressa, who holds dual citizenship in both the Philippines and the United States, spoke to hundreds at the Asian American Journalists Association convention in Atlanta back in 2019.
“Know the lines,” she said. “You don’t know who you are unless you are forced to defend it. We hold the powerful accountable.”
In announcing the award, the Nobel committee praised Ressa for using
“freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.”
It lauded her for exposing the Duterte regime and his “murderous anti-drug campaign.”
Rappler also released a statement.
“It could not have come at a better time – a time when journalists and the truth are being attacked and undermined,” it said.
Ressa worked as a bureau chief for CNN from 1985 to 2005 in both the Philippines and Jakarta. After that, she headed the news division at ABS-CBN.
Ressa will receive a prize of $1.1 million dollars for her award.
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