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SPJ congratulates Ressa on Nobel Peace Prize

10/8/2021 1:11:05 PM

Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President, 317-361-4134,
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785,

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists congratulates Maria Ressa on winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Maria Ressa has proven to the world consistently that she is a leader, unafraid to defend free press and journalists everywhere,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Aguilar.

Ressa, the chief executive and co-founder of Philippines news site Rappler, is a strong advocate for press freedom. In 2019, she was named a Fellow of the Society, SPJ’s highest professional honor, for extraordinary contributions to the profession of journalism. She was the keynote speaker at a media nonprofit summit hosted by SPJ and organized by SPJ Past President J. Alex Tarquinio, in New York in 2019, to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.

Ressa wins alongside Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta. When announcing the prize, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said the pair 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."

SPJ is proud to have Ressa among the ranks of our Fellows for the important work she does to support press freedom in the face of lawsuits and libel charges as retaliation for Rappler’s critical reports on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa was also a guest of the SPJ International Community twice, where she spoke about being convicted of cyber libel and press freedom in the Philippines.

Furthermore, SPJ applauds the Norwegian Nobel Committee in recognizing the importance of a free press in these challenging times for journalists. Around the world, journalists have been attacked, imprisoned and killed for simply reporting the news.

“Ressa and Muratov are champions of free press and much deserving recipients of the Nobel Prize,” Aguilar said. “It is an honor to have Ressa as one of our Fellows of the Society, and we strive to help her and others champion press freedom around the world.”

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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