Nobel Peace Prize awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. freedom of expression / ˈfri dəm əv ɪkˈsprɛʃ ən / (n.) – an individual’s right to say his/her opinions freely

    The internet celebrity’s videos and blogs were removed, so he’s fighting for freedom of expression.

  2. harassment / həˈræs mənt / (n.) – behavior that causes trouble to someone through actions like bullying, personal attacks, etc.

    Criticizing employees in public is a form of workplace harassment.

  3. courageous / kəˈreɪ dʒəs / (adj.) – very brave

    Jon made a courageous decision to quit his job and start his own business.

  4. stand up for (someone/something) / stænd ʌp fɔr / (phrasal v.) – to support or defend someone or something from criticism or attacks

    The presidential candidate stands up for the right to free education.

  5. fundamentally / ˌfʌn dəˈmɛn tl i / (adv.) – related to the basic and most important part of something

    The work-from-home setup is fundamentally changing how people do their jobs.


Read the text below.

Journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 8 for fighting for freedom of expression in countries where reporters have faced persistent attacks, harassment, and even murder.

Ressa and Muratov were honored for their “courageous” work but also were considered “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,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Ressa in 2012 co-founded Rappler, a news website that the committee noted had focused critical attention on President Rodrigo Duterte’s “controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign” in the Philippines.

Muratov was one of the founders in 1993 of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which the Nobel committee called “the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power.” (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Ressa and Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and were honored for their “courageous” work. Do you think their work truly deserves a Nobel Peace Prize? Are there journalists in your country who deserve a similar award? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize Committee mentioned that democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions. What do you think are some ways that this is true (ex. more news about threats against them, more censored news)? Do you think this situation can change in the near future? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Both Ressa and Muratov have been critical of their governments. Are journalists in your country also critical of the government? If so, what issues are they most critical of (ex. economy, health care)? If not, do you think they should exercise their freedom of expression more? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is freedom of expression more of a right or a privilege? Why? Discuss.