Philippine journalist Maria Ressa and her co-laureate Dmitry Muratov, editor of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta received the Nobel Peace Prize at Oslo City Hall on 10 December.
During her acceptance speech, Ressa has attacked US internet companies for what she called a “flood of toxic sludge” on social media. She said technology giants had “allowed a virus of lies to infect each of us”.
Ressa, co-founder and CEO of the news site Rappler, has accused sites such as Facebook of profiting from spreading hate.
The 58-year-old was addressing guests at a ceremony in the capital, Oslo.
She accused US internet giants of being “biased against facts and journalists” and of using their “God-like power” to sow division.
“Our greatest need today is to transform that hate and violence, the toxic sludge that’s coursing through our information ecosystem,” she said.
Ressa and Muratov were both awarded the prize in recognition of their fights to defend freedom of expression.
The 60-year-old Muratov urged guests at the ceremony to observe a minute’s silence for journalists killed in the course of their work and said the profession was going through “a dark time” in Russia.
He said more than 100 journalists, media outlets, human rights defenders, and NGOs were recently branded “foreign agents” by Russia’s justice ministry. “In Russia, this means one thing – ‘enemies of the people’.”
Both journalists are known for investigations that drew the ire their countries’ rulers and both have faced threats as a result of this.
Maria Ressa’s acceptance speech
Watch the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in full
- Maria Ressa: Nobel prize-winner risks life and liberty to hold Philippines government to account
- PH Journalist Maria Ressa wins Nobel Peace Prize