RAPPLER co-founder and chief executive officer Maria Ressa has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 by Norwegian labor leader and parliamentary representative Jonas Gahr Støre.
“Filipino Maria Ressa heads Rappler, a website for investigative and investigative journalism. Prior to founding Rappler in 2012, she worked for CNN in Asia, where she specifically reports on terrorist networks,” said Støre on the Norwegian news site Journalisten.no.
He noted that Ressa has been harassed, persecuted, and arrested numerous times due to her critical coverage of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
“Ressa has for years lived with death threats and harassment on social media. She is thus both a symbol and a representative of thousands of journalists around the world,” Støre said.
“The nomination fulfills key aspects of what is emphasized as peace-promoting in Alfred Nobel’s will. A free and independent press can inform about and help to limit and stop a development that leads to armed conflict and war,” he added.
Støre also nominated Reporters Without Borders and Committee to Protect Journalists for the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to him, media freedom is being put under pressure in more and more places in the world, with journalists being threatened, persecuted and imprisoned.
“It is crucial to recognize the work of a free and independent press and to help ensure the working conditions of journalists in conflict areas, both inside and outside armed conflicts,” said Støre.
“In today’s world, Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists are the two foremost organizations for promoting media freedom and protecting journalists,” he added.
Reporters Without Borders has a global network of correspondents and offices to protect thousands of journalists who are threatened, attacked or imprisoned every year.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has a global network to protect journalists and places particular emphasis on documenting attacks on press freedom by publishing statistics and reports on the persecution of journalists.
“A Nobel Peace Prize for these organizations will be a recognition of the work they do, and it will recognize the thousands of journalists who report on conflicts,” said Støre.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel.
The Peace Prize is awarded by a committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget).
The 2021 laureate will be announced in October.