(Stockholm, 8 October 2021) SIPRI congratulates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on the award of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, ‘for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.’
‘The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to two pioneering and courageous journalists is very timely,’ said SIPRI Director Dan Smith. ‘In the past few years, we have seen an alarming assault on facts, on freedom of expression and on media freedom. This prize is both a recognition of the outstanding work of Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, and a message of support and encouragement to journalists everywhere.’
Maria Ressa is the co-founder and CEO of the online investigative journalism platform Rappler. Dmitry Muratov was a co-founder of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and has been the editor-in-chief since 1995.
Smith observed, ‘The motivation for the award notes the link between freedom of expression, democracy and peace. This is absolutely right. Research shows that democracies do not go to war with each other and tend to be more stable and internally peaceful. And democracy is impossible without freedom of expression and a free media that seeks and speaks the truth. At the heart of SIPRI’s mission is the belief that transparency, that presenting the facts, about sensitive issues are the best way to find a path towards a more peaceful world and sustainable future. Our work relies on open sources, so we have a stake in free, open journalism.’
Maria Ressa at SIPRI’s 2021 Stockholm Forum
Maria Ressa said, ‘on social media right now, lies laced with anger and hate spread faster and further than facts’, during a panel at the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development. The panel ‘New Frontiers in Peacebuilding: The Role of Social Media’ explored how social media can be harnessed more effectively for peacebuilding purposes and assessed human-rights-based and conflict-sensitive policy responses to harmful disinformation campaigns.
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