The importance of journalists who take considerable risks to bring the truth to countries where it means standing up against authoritarian governments has been recognized by the Nobel Committee’s decision to

award the 2021 Peace Prize to Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov from Russia.

In announcing the prize, the Nobel committee called the duo “representatives of all journalists who defend this ideal”. They said Ressa had used his online news organization, Rappler, to “speak out against the abuse of power, the use of violence and growing authoritarianism in his homeland, the Philippines.”

Rappler, who grew out of a Facebook page launched in 2012 and has become one of the Philippines’ most credible independent news services, has been the target of President Rodrigo Duterte since his election in 2016. His state address of the 2017 union claimed that Rappler was foreign owned, which would be unconstitutional. He also said he was peddling “fake news”.

Government investigations followed, and in 2018 Ressa and Rappler were inundated with accusations of cybercrime, tax evasion, and as much bullying as the Duterte government could muster.

This harassment took place against the backdrop of presidential-sanctioned killings in the form of Duterte’s “war on drugs” (which the The International Criminal Court is currently investigating) which resulted in the deaths of more than 20,000 people, including journalists across the country. Ressa was not intimidated by the intimidation and threats. Time magazine named her one of its 2018 Personality of the Year winners alongside other journalists facing oppression around the world.

When she was first arrested in 2019 at the age of 56, the country’s most prominent journalist was forced to spend a night behind bars, a low point for civil society in the Philippines. Ressa and his Rappler colleagues continue to work under threat of imprisonment.

It remains to be seen whether the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize will protect Ressa and Rappler from further targeting, and whether the election, slated for May 2022, will provide relief from government harassment and threats.

Thorn beside Duterte

Long before Duterte was elected, Ressa was an established figure in Filipino public life. She had been the face of CNN in the Philippines as a bureau chief from 1987 to 1995, then as an investigative reporter for CNN, where she focused on terrorism in the aftermath of September 11 in South Asia. -East.

In 2004, she joined ABS-CBN, a large media company based in the Philippines, and for six years helped make it the country’s main news network (its broadcast operations were closed by Duterte in 2020). It is to Ressa’s credit that his influence is so strong in the media landscape in the Philippines, where young journalists continue to follow his advice and example.

This is not the first time that Maria Ressa has won an international grand prize. She received the Democracy Prize 2017, the 2018 Knight International Prize for Journalism and, also in 2018, the World Association of Newspapers Golden Pen of Freedom Award and the Committee to Protect Journalists Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award. His trials over the past few years have regularly garnered public attention and have been condemned across the world ever since. personalities and organizations.

Peace Prize Premium?

Despite this, the Duterte government continued to stifle dissent and attack lesser-publicized journalists in the more remote provinces of the Philippines, who continue to investigate corruption and violence under direct threat of violence and violence. ‘intimidation. Hopefully the Nobel Prize will pressure the 2022 presidential candidates to speak out on the issue of press freedom and make it a campaign issue. The award also means that foreign governments calibrating new relationships with the next administration have a symbol to rally around.

In 2019, I was a delegate to the British and Canadian governments World Conference on Media Freedom in London. I had the opportunity to briefly meet Maria and her lawyer Amal Clooney. There were many strong feelings and good words expressed that day by government officials as they listened to stories like those from the Philippines.

The whole event rang hollow when, towards the end of the day, news of the murder of the radio presenter Eduardo Dizon, reporter for Brigada News FM in Kidapawan City, southern Philippines. But by presenting this award to courageous journalists like Ressa and Muratov, the Nobel committee is proclaiming the value, not only of their work, but of all journalists who take risks to hold power to account.

Tom Smith is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Academic Director of Royal Air Force College Cranwell at the University of Portsmouth, UK

The conversation


The conversation was born out of deep-seated concerns about the degradation of the quality of our public discourse and the recognition of the vital role that academic experts could play in the public arena. Information has always been essential to democracy. It is a societal good, like drinking water. But many now find it difficult to trust the media and experts who have spent years researching a topic. Instead, they listen to those with the loudest voices. These uninformed views are amplified by social media networks that reward those who spark outrage instead of insight or thoughtful discussion. The Conversation seeks to be part of the solution to this problem, to make the voices of real experts heard and to make their knowledge available to everyone. The Conversation is published every night at 9 p.m. on FlaglerLive.

Previous conversations:
  • The long and August history of tattoo meanings
  • Millions of unemployed are on the verge of suffering much more as benefits run out
  • Buried power lines are not safe
  • Behind Hurricane Ida’s Record Precipitation In New York And The Northeast: Yes, It’s Global Warming
  • When human life begins is a matter of politics, not biology
  • How Warm Gulf Patch Quickly Turned Hurricane Ida Into A Monster Storm
  • Is it a crime to forge a vaccine card?
  • Here’s what happens to migrant children at the border
  • The story of the women behind the first domestic violence shelters
  • The Supreme Court ended the ban on deportation. Now what? 4 questions answered.
  • ISIS-K, rival Taliban group behind Kabul airport attack
  • Clues to misinformation behind abuse of the vaccine database by the public and right-wing media
  • Essential and often overlooked: American public library workers
  • Behind the federal government’s Tesla investigation and the future of self-driving cars
  • The meaning of happiness from the ashes of Pompeii
  • Ashura explained: the Shia Muslim holiday that inspires millions of people
  • You are free to refuse the Covid vaccine. But it’s anti-American.
  • Why I no longer think we can eliminate Covid
  • Schools and Covid Safety: What Works and What Doesn’t
  • Afghanistan and American pride
  • Social justice starts with an honest story
  • Afghanistan has always been a losing battle
  • Wonder and promise of the Appalachian trail
  • Holocaust survivors obtained reparations. Why not the descendants of slavery?
  • The huge tax that religious organizations do not pay
  • Don’t be too quick to call for the removal of voters
  • Millions of American workers still cannot afford food and rent
  • Understanding the dire warnings of the IPCC climate report
  • Palestinians and Israelis, human rights and another big issue
  • Cults and cults
  • Prediction of atomic bomb exploded long before Hiroshima
  • Changing Crime Reporting Practices to Do Less Harm
  • When Americans remember their roots, they open up to immigration
  • Where Canadian fathers are warm, kind and gentle, American fathers punish harshly and lack emotional support
  • Trump’s approvals make a difference, but not the way candidates hope they will
  • Is it time to withdraw the slogan “My body, my choice”?
  • Narcissists
  • How this summer is changing our understanding of extreme weather
  • A warning for coastal cities: what the Miami seawall will not protect
  • Here’s why you need to mask yourself indoors again, even if you are vaccinated
  • Can we cancel “Cancel Culture”?
  • Ghostly Olympics, soulless, absurd
  • Behind the Mass Protests in Cuba: The Misery of Covid and US Economic Sanctions
  • The bias is natural. How you deal with it defines your ability to be fair.
  • Why some young evangelicals are leaving the faith
  • Racism inherent in anti-vaxx movements
  • 63% of workers who file an EEOC discrimination complaint lose their job
  • Behind Ben & Jerry’s West Bank Decision: Israel Losing Public Opinion Battle
  • Domestic violence 911 calls increased during lockdown, but police reports and arrests declined
  • Yes, Covid can cause infertility and sexual dysfunction. But vaccines can’t.
  • Is Islamophobia Hate Speech?
  • The seduction of propaganda
  • Ignoraunce Incarno: the wrong calls to cancel Chaucer
  • Most of the deaths from Covid in England are now among the vaccinated. Here’s why it shouldn’t alarm you
  • The risk of flooding at high tide will increase 5 to 15 times over the next 15 years, putting coastal economies at risk
  • Protests in Cuba: 4 Essential Readings on Dissent in the Post-Castro Era
  • Zaila Avant-garde, 2021 national spelling contest champion, stands where black children were once excluded
  • Trump before Trump: when Nixon vice president Spiro Agnew attacked the media
  • Five lessons to bring the truth back to politics
  • Yes, states received more money from Washington than they needed for Covid relief
  • Trump can’t beat Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in court, but fight could be worth more money than victory
  • Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits?
  • Critical Race Theory: What Is and What Isn’t, Governor DeSantis
  • Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s debate, 1st transgender woman in individual sports at the Olympics
  • With backing from Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad becomes one of many deans to tweet in trouble

See the complete archive of conversations



Source link