Philippines' Nobel Prize winner Ressa says "nothing is possible without facts"


Veteran Philippine journalist Maria Ressa said on Friday that her Nobel Peace Prize win shows that "nothing is possible without facts", as she referred to the links between democracy and freedom of expression.

"A world without facts means a world without truth and trust," Ressa said during a livestreamed interview with her news website Rappler.

The outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte expressed "shock" at the award and said Rappler, the news outlet she co-founded, "would just keep doing what we're doing."

"This is the best time to be a journalist," Ressa said. "The times when it's most dangerous are the times when it's most important."

Ressa and Rappler have faced multiple criminal charges and investigations after publishing stories critical of Duterte's policies, including his bloody drug war.

The former CNN correspondent is on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case, for which she faces up to six years in prison. Two other cyber libel cases were dismissed earlier this year.

In April, the UN's cultural agency awarded its annual press freedom prize to Ressa in recognition of her "unerring fight for freedom of expression".  

The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo announced on Friday that is was giving the 2021 Peace Prize on Friday to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov. 

"Ms. Ressa and Mr. Muratov are receiving the Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia," committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen announced. "At the same time, they 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," she added. (AFP/DW)

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