Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov

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The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists

Maria Ressa

and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.

“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its announcement Friday, adding that freedom of expression and information help to ensure an informed public.

The committee described these rights as crucial prerequisites for democracy and a safeguard against war and conflict, and that the award of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov is intended to underscore the importance of protecting and defending these rights.

Ms. Ressa is the co-founder of Rappler, a digital media company established in 2012 to expose what the Nobel committee described as the abuse of power and growing authoritarianism in her native Philippines. Mr. Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper in 1993 and it has endured as an important source of information in Russia. Since its launch, six of its journalists have been killed.

In all, 329 candidates were nominated for the peace prize this year. The Nobel committee doesn’t reveal who they are, and doesn’t make the deliberations for the awarding of the prize public for 50 years, and only does so then on a case-by-case basis.

Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov will share a cash prize of over $1 million.

Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prize in his will along with prizes for chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, and literature. A prize for economics was later created in his name. The peace prize was first awarded in 1901 and is selected by a committee in Norway’s capital, Oslo. During Nobel’s lifetime, Sweden and Norway were in a union, which was dissolved in 1905.

Write to James Hookway at james.hookway@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Dmitry Muratov’s first name was misspelled as Dimitry in an earlier version of this article. (Corrected on Oct. 8)

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