Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov (Image: Nobel Prize Outreach/Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien)
Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov (Image: Nobel Prize Outreach/Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien)

It's taken just eight months for autocrats to get their revenge for the embarrassment of having the power of independent journalism recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize last October.

Yesterday, the 2021 laureate, Maria Ressa, revealed that the legal incorporation of Rappler, the news website she co-founded in 2012, was being shut down by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission due to claims it had received overseas funding. This would end its ability to operate within the country.

It follows the closure of Russia’s Novaya Gazeta in March, the post-Soviet paper edited by Ressa's fellow laureate Dmitry Muratov, after repeat warnings from the country’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor. It occurred under new legislation restricting reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which, among other things, made it a crime to describe the invasion as a “war”. (Rozkomnadzor is a Russian-language acronym for the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media.)