Content publisher


Nobel Peace Prize for journalism, a reflection


Published in

Diario de Navarra

Ana Azurmendi

Professor of Communication Law

The Swedish Academy has awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize 2021 to two journalists, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, for their struggle for freedom of expression, "a precondition for democracy," the award adds.

This is not the first time that the Nobel Prize submission has been awarded to journalists. The previous occasion was that of the German Carl von Ossietzky, in 1935, for revealing Germany's secret rearmament program. This did not help to stop the war offensive that the country would initiate a few years later.

The Nobel Peace Prize is presented this year as a slogan, with a testimony of two long-standing, courageous journalists who have faced arrests, pressures and threats for their work news in their respective countries, the Philippines and Russia. The two laureates represent, says the jury, "all journalists who stand up for an ideal in a world where democracy and press freedom face increasingly adverse conditions".

It is true, accurate journalistic information is essential for citizens -all of them- to be able to make decisions with knowledge of cause, in economic, political and social aspects that correspond to them. Many current approaches to the evolution towards a participatory democracy, more participatory, have to do with the real possibility of direct decision making by citizens, without so much mediation by political parties. They say that this is a logical evolution of the democratic system, towards more mature postulates.

Democracy, the evolved one or the one we have right now, requires journalists who see the information they work with in this way. But it also requires newspapers, televisions, radios, digital platforms that see it that way and that allow journalists to do that work to search, elaborate and disseminate truthful information. In multiple formats and modalities, text, audio, audiovisual, online or not. More or less spectacular. It does not matter. What counts is the information.

Today there is much talk about the need for the media to regain credibility, the trust of citizens. The Nobel Peace Prize 2021 points the way: journalists, journalistic information, truthful, on relevant current issues.