This year’s award was bestowed on two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dimitry Muratov, “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. At the same time, they are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
Maria Ressa is a Filipino American journalist, who:
“ … uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence, and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population. Ms. Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.”
She does not speak for all Filipinos, but she does speak for everyone in the world who values freedom of expression and the ability to do so without being intimidated, censored, under surveillance or having their lives threatened. The Los Angeles Public Library owns the following two books written by Maria Reesa and one documentary about her courageous work.