The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has congratulated two foreign journalists for winning the Nobel Peace Prize “for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.”

Maria Ressa heads the digital media company, Rappler, which has gained prominence through its investigative reporting, including on large-scale killings during a police campaign against drugs, and has been critical of the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Dmitry Muratov is Editor-in-Chief of Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has defied the Kremlin under President Vladimir Putin and has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee says free, independent, and fact-based journalism protects against abuse of power, lies, and war propaganda.

“From a Sanef perspective, we believe that the award is a recognition and affirmation of the tireless efforts of journalists around the world to hold the line for truth and accountability. We note with gratitude that the Nobel Peace Prize is also honouring the right to free speech which the prize-giving committee described as under threat around the globe. We applaud the courage of the two recipients,” says Sanef’s Media Freedom Chair Mary Papayya.