DW Auctions NFT for Freedom of the Press | Economy | DW

This is not the right time for freedom of the press. This is probably one of the reasons why two investigative journalists, Maria Ressa from the Philippines and Dmitri Muratow from Russia, received the Nobel Peace Prize this year. The committee recognized both men’s commitment to freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.

According to Reporters Without Borders, there are currently 339 journalists in prison worldwide, as well as around 100 bloggers, citizen journalists and media professionals. This is again significantly more than the previous year, when a new peak had already been reached. In addition, there are those who have been killed – more than 30 this year.

Press freedom auctions

To show our respect to all colleagues around the world, we have produced a video with the word press freedom in 30 DW broadcast languages. We offer it for sale as part of an auction, the profits of which are donated to Reporters Without Borders.

2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureates: Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratow (r.)

The trigger for the action was the desire to learn more about an exciting and promising, but also quite strange phenomenon: the video we are auctioning has a so-called NFT.

NFT stands for non-fungible tokens and is a kind of digital certificate of authenticity. Digital data, which can actually be copied at will, can thus be identified as originals and distinguished from copies. The basis for this is blockchain technology, on which cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also based.

millions of pixels

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding NFTs this year because some of these digital originals have sold for big bucks. In March this year, for example, a collage of digital images by American artist Beeple changed hands for the equivalent of US$69 million. This catapulted the previously unrecognized Beeple into third place among the most expensive living artists, behind Jeff Koons and David Hockney. This was the first time that a renowned auction house, namely Christie’s, allowed an NFT auction.

However, most NFTs are auctioned on specialized platforms on the Internet. There’s a lot of money at stake, too – from a self-portrait of whistleblower Edward Snowden to music videos of sporting events to internet memes like cat videos. Of course, there is also real art there. Even the NFT of a New York Times newspaper page with an article about the digital art phenomenon generated a record amount.

NFT Auction

The DW profile on the foundation.app auction platform


How the technology behind NFTs works and what experiences we have had with it, we will explain in future articles. Also, why some people have high hopes for NFTs, while others see this technology as a fraudulent Ponzi scheme and climate killer.

DW’s NFT is called PressFreedomX30 and is an opportunity for us to learn more about this exciting development – perhaps comparable to a test sale on Ebay in 1995 or a test drive with the first Tesla in 2008.

If you want to bid, you need a digital wallet with the cryptocurrency ether. The auction is here:


It started on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 5:00 p.m. (CET). The auction lasts 24 hours from the first bid.

The proceeds (minus the auction platform’s commission) are donated to Reporters Without Borders (RSF Germany). The non-governmental organization documents press freedom violations around the world and supports persecuted journalists.

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