The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have added their voices in congratulating Filipino journalist Maria Ressa for winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, according to CBCP News.
The bishops issued a statement Monday welcoming the win of Ressa who, along with other journalists, “valiantly” contributed “not only for search for truth but more importantly, to help build a culture of dialogue”.
“This important recognition – the first for a Filipino – would hopefully strengthen our people’s conviction to build a nation where journalism ‘is free, at the service of truth, goodness, and justice’,” the bishops said.
“As Filipinos and Bishops, we commit our continued collaboration in order to uphold these values,” they said.
The church leaders also stressed the important role that journalists play in “gauging the health of a healthy society.
This journalistic work, according to them, is needed more than ever because of the spread of “disinformation and fake news” online.
Ressa has won the prestigious award along with Russian Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winners at an award ceremony in Oslo on October 8.
Born in Manila and raised in the US, Ressa worked for CNN for years, then in 2012 co-founded Rappler, an online news site in the Philippines.
The 58-year-old was recognized for using “freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines”.
“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,” read a statement of the award-giving body.