Maria Ressa was one of the four journalists named as Time’s 2018 Person of the Year. Honored by the magazine for fighting the “War on Truth,” she is cited for bravely doing her duties as a member of the Philippine press despite the risks. A veteran journalist with 33 years of experience under her belt, she is now the chief executive of Rappler, the local news website she founded in 2012.
As Time noted, Maria Ressa has been a war correspondent, but her coverage of the anomalies in the Duterte administration may be her “most dangerous job yet.” The publication cited how Rappler “began investigating how the Duterte campaign built a network of domestic and overseas social media users who disseminated inflammatory and sometimes fake content created by a team of bloggers” as well as “relentlessly covered the brutal drug war of [President Duterte], including suspected extrajudicial killings that have alarmed human-rights advocates.”
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In the #Philippines, a 55-year-old woman named Maria Ressa steers @rappler, an online #news site she helped found, through a superstorm of the two most formidable forces in the information universe: #socialmedia and a populist President with authoritarian inclinations. Rappler has chronicled the violent drug war and extrajudicial killings of President Rodrigo #Duterte that have left some 12,000 people dead, according to a January estimate from @humanrightswatch. Duterte has called Rappler “fake news” and banned its reporters from presidential events. The government recently charged Ressa with tax fraud—a move widely viewed as an attempted crackdown on Rappler's reporting. She faces a possible 10-year sentence. Ressa is one of the Guardians, TIME's Person of the Year 2018. #TIMEPOY Read the full story at TIME.com/POY2018. Photograph by @moisessaman—@magnumphotos for TIME
Earlier this month, Maria has been given an arrest warrant for tax evasion cases. Days after the Committee to Protect Journalists presented her with an international Press Freedom award, she posted bail for the charges. She maintains this was a politicized move by the government. According to Time, “International observers regard them as the latest salvo in President Rodrigo Duterte’s bid to muzzle critical press and silence criticism of his administration’s deadly war on drugs.”
Watch the video below to know more about Maria Ressa’s views regarding the current political climate, not just here in the Philippines, as well as her stand on the role of journalists and the press at such a critical time.
Photo by Joan Bondoc for Inquirer.net
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