The Asian American Journalists Association’s Asia chapter (AAJA-Asia) congratulates Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. They were recognized “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression” in the Philippines and Russia.
Ressa is the first Filipino Nobel laureate, and is the only woman among this year’s awardees so far. Ressa, who co-founded the news site Rappler, was commended for leading her media outlet to “expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.”
The award-winning journalist was convicted last year of libel in the Philippines.
Ressa was the keynote speaker at AAJA-Asia’s New.Now.Next Media Conference in 2020, where she spoke of the weaponization of social media and the critical role journalists play in fighting disinformation.
AAJA-Asia has unequivocally stood in full support of Ressa, Rappler and all journalists around the region who face harassment and threats in the course of their work.
We thank the Nobel Prize committee for shining a light on freedom of expression and the role of journalists, particularly at a time when nearly all of the countries in Southeast Asia have fallen to the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.
The Asia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA-Asia) represents members across the Asia-Pacific region, including Seoul. It is a diverse, multi-ethnic community of local and international journalists and media professionals committed to supporting a vibrant press in the Asia-Pacific region. We are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in media organizations, providing training opportunities to members, supporting students interested in journalism and advocating for fair media access.
AAJA is a nonprofit educational and professional organization with more than 2,000 members across the U.S. and Asia.