A free and independent press holds governments accountable, exposes abuses of power and corruption, and helps ensure the public is well informed. In too many countries, journalists face violence or imprisonment for their reporting.
In recognition of the important work that journalists do on behalf of freedom of expression, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to two reporters: Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. “Like so many journalists around the world,” said President Joe Biden in a statement honoring the winners, “Ressa and Muratov have pursued the facts tirelessly and fearlessly. They have worked to check the abuse of power, expose corruption, and demand transparency. They have been tenacious in founding independent media outlets and defending them against forces that seek their silence.”
Ressa and Muratov, like many of their fellow journalists, have paid the price for their commitment to report the truth. They have been the targets of constant threats, harassment and intimidation, spurious legal action, and even, in the case of Muratov, the death of his colleagues.
The United States condemns threats, harassment, and violence targeting journalists and media workers for practicing their profession . Increasingly, these threats come from governments reaching beyond their borders, including through misuse of digital surveillance tools that track journalists’ communications and whereabouts to constrain the ability of journalists to report on government corruption or repression. Members of the press should not be threatened, harassed, physically attacked, or arrested for doing their job.
“Now, more than ever,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price, “we must stand against the increasing use of physical attacks, online harassment, intimidation lawsuits and regulatory pressures being used to silence media around the world.”
The United States will continue to advocate for freedom of expression without undue restrictions, including for members of the media, and to hold to account those who attack press freedom.
“Ressa, Muratov, and journalists like them all around the world are on the front lines of a global battle for the very idea of the truth,” said President Biden. “I, along with people everywhere, am grateful for their groundbreaking work to hold the line.”