Allow me to congratulate Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists and Maria Ressa on their nominations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
The world now is reeling under the insidious phenomenon of fake news and deliberate misinformation online. Ethical, courageous and truth-telling journalists have also become the target of harassment, persecution and death threats, while others have been killed with impunity for doing their job.
Journalists play a very crucial role in bringing factual and responsible news, most especially now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of illiberal and strong-arm politics.
It is the journalists who tell the story of the poor and marginalized and the first to report the suffering of victims of injustice in times of government’s abuse of power or deliberate lack of action. They are the constant chroniclers of peoples’ issues and social realities. That is why now more than ever, journalists and free and independent media must be protected against corrupt power-holders and enemies of truth and democracy.
The nominations of RWB, CPJ and Maria Ressa are not only well deserved for their important role and valiant sacrifices to defend press freedom, protect journalists and represent fearless journalism, but also attest to the fact that, indeed, the world is watching and taking an action.
I know that their nominations reflect the commitment of democratic organizations and nations of the world to defend free press, to protect our journalists, and to safeguard the truth. I wish Maria Ressa, Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders the best, and again extend to them my sincerest congratulations. ###
(Access the handwritten version, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatchno1028)