Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace prize in recognition for their “courageous” defence of free speech and expression.

The pair, who hail from the Philippines and Russia respectively, have received global acknowledgement for their efforts in safeguarding democracy in their home countries.

“Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” the statement announcing the awards read.

“Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time.”

Ms Ressa says she is ‘honoured’ to be declared the joint winner and hopes the award will bolster investigative journalism.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented on December 10, the anniversary of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel who founded the awards in 1895.

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