He was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993, and he has been the newspaper’s editor in chief since 1995. Despite a near constant barrage of harassment, threats, violence and even murder, the newspaper has continued to publish.
Since its start, six of the newspaper’s journalists have been killed, including Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote revealing articles about the war in Chechnya, according to the committee.
“Despite the killings and threats, editor in chief Muratov has refused to abandon the newspaper’s independent policy,” the committee wrote. “He has consistently defended the right of journalists to write anything they want about whatever they want, as long as they comply with the professional and ethical standards of journalism.”
Mr. Muratov said the announcement of the prize came as a surprise. When he received a call from an unidentified number from Norway, he told Russian media, he did not initially pick it up.
He said he would donate some of the prize money to the fight against spinal muscular atrophy, a cause for which he has long advocated, and to support journalism against pressure from the Russian authorities.
“We will use this award to fight for Russian journalism, which they’re now trying to repress,” Mr. Muratov told Podyom, a Russian news website.
The Nobel committee chose from 329 candidates, one of the largest pools in the 126-year history of the prize. Those who had been considered favorites for this year included climate change activists, political dissidents and scientists whose work helped fight the Covid-19 pandemic.