Nobel Prize winners warn of press freedom crisis

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize co-winners have expressed serious concerns about democracy and press freedom. They say they are determined to fight for both.

Dmitry Muratov is the editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Maria Ressa is the co-founder of Philippine digital media company Rappler. They spoke to reporters Thursday in Oslo.

The press conference in the Norwegian capital took place before the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.

Ressa spoke of the murder of a journalist the day before. The journalist had criticized Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ressa said press freedom was under threat. She said she hoped the Nobel Prize “will make it safer for journalists.”

She warned that disinformation and propaganda were rampant around the world. She added that they are undermining the foundations of democracy.

The Rappler co-founder called on independent media to work together to protect press freedoms. She also said it was important that journalists continue to do their jobs.

Muratov said: “The lack of belief in democracy means that over time people turn their backs on democracy, you will have a dictator and dictatorship leads to war.” He also stressed that the independent media are important.

The two journalists will receive medals at the ceremony on Friday.

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