Sunday, June 23, 2024

Nobel Laureate Muratov: Investigative Journalists are the Antidote to Tyranny

Oslo, Norway – Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov received their Nobel Peace Prize Diplomas and medals for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

In their Nobel Prize lectures, Muratov and Ressa both emphasized facts-based information and reporting. “We are journalists, and our mission is clear – to distinguish between facts and fiction,” said Muratov. In her remarks, Ressa said, “Without facts, you can’t have truth. Without truth, you can’t have trust. Without trust, we have no shared reality, no democracy, and it becomes impossible to deal with our world’s existential problems: climate, coronavirus, the battle for truth.”

Ressa pointed out that the “greatest need today is to transform that hate and violence, the toxic sludge that’s coursing through our information ecosystem, prioritized by American internet companies that make more money by spreading that hate and triggering the worst in us.”

Muratov dedicated the award to “the entire community of investigative journalists” who are the “antidote to tyranny.”

“Let us rise and honour my and Maria Ressa’s reporter colleagues, who have given their lives for this profession, with a minute of silence, and let us give our support to those who suffer persecution,” said Muratov, adding “I want journalists to die old.”

“We are standing on the rubble of the world that was, and we must have the foresight and courage to imagine what might happen if we don’t act now” said Ressa, “and instead, create the world as it should be – more compassionate, more equal, more sustainable.”

This week the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has published the statistics of imprisoned and killed journalists in 2021. As per IFJ’s statistics, 45 journalists have been killed since 1 January 2021 and 365 journalists are still in jail as of 10 December 2021, up from 235 last year. China (102), Turkey (34), Belarus (29), Eritrea (29), Egypt (27), Vietnam (21), Myanmar (18), Russia (12), Azerbaijan and Yemen (11), Cambodia (10) and Iran (9) are the biggest jailers of journalists.

“The world needs to wake up to the growing violations of journalists’ rights and media freedoms across the globe,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger. “These lists of journalists in jail and colleagues who have been killed are clear evidence of deliberate acts to suppress independent reporting.”

The IFJ is urging the United Nations to adopt a Convention on the safety of journalists to promote, protect and ensure the safety of media professionals in times of peace and during armed conflict, and to safeguard their ability to exercise their profession freely and independently in an enabling environment, without facing harassment, intimidation or attacks against their physical integrity.

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