Nobel Peace Prize: Kremlin pays tribute to ‘courageous’ journalist Muratov | Media News

The head of Novaya Gazeta dedicates the award to journalists killed in Russia during Moscow’s crackdown on critical reporting.

The Kremlin congratulated Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov on winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, hailing him as “talented” and “courageous”.

Muratov, editor of Russia’s leading independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was announced Friday as the winner of the prestigious award along with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

The 59-year-old is one of Russia’s most respected media personalities and has run Novaya Gazeta for 24 years.

Under his leadership, the newspaper consistently challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin with investigations into wrongdoing and corruption, and extensively covered the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, which Kyiv accuses Moscow of fueling.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of Muratov’s award: “It is a great appreciation and we congratulate him…He works persistently in accordance with his own ideals, he is devoted to them, he is talented, he is brave.”

Muratov and Ressa have been recognized “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and in Russia,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said Friday at a press conference in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

“They are representatives of all journalists who uphold this ideal in a world where democracy and press freedom face increasingly adverse conditions,” she said.

“Fact-based journalism”

Co-founded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993, Novaya Gazeta is one of the few independent media currently active in Russia.

Under Putin, the Kremlin routinely silenced critical reporting by shutting down many outlets. He relies heavily on state media to deliver pro-Putin propaganda to the public.

“Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power,” Reiss-Andersen said on Friday.

“The paper’s factual journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information about censorable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media,” she said, citing her work on the Russian army and alleged corruption, police violence and electoral fraud. .

Since 2000, six journalists and collaborators of Novaya Gazeta have been assassinated.

Muratov dedicated his award to those who “died defending people’s right to freedom of expression.”

“I can’t take credit for it. It is that of Novaya Gazeta,” he said, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

A day before the Nobel Prize was announced, Muratov presided over ceremonies at the newspaper’s editorial office in honor of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed 15 years ago.

Politkovskaya, who had reported critically on the 1999-2009 war between Putin and Russia in Chechnya, was shot and killed on October 7, 2006 in the lobby of her building in central Moscow. She was 48 years old.

“Despite the killings and threats, editor Muratov refused to abandon the newspaper’s policy of independence,” Reiss-Andersen said.

“He has always defended the right of journalists to write what they want about what they want, as long as they adhere to professional and ethical standards of journalism.”