Maria Ressa

Laureate Freedom of Speech Award 2020

Maria Ressa Laureate Freedom of Speech Award 2020

The award for Ms. Ressa is motivated by her continuing dedication to tell people what is happening in the world and her commitment to address human rights abuses, no matter how tough circumstances are or how much opposition she meets. Ms. Ressa fights for freedom of the press, at first as an investigative reporter on terrorism for CNN in Southeast Asia and now as the executive editor of online news outlet Rappler.

She started Rappler in 2012 as a social news network to inspire social engagement and change through digital means. At the same time, Rappler is a critical news organization with a wide range of messages, from politics to entertainment. Rappler is now one of the few media organizations in the Republic of the Philippines that is openly critical on the “war on drugs”. Its persistence in documenting the deadly reality of this “war” has attracted the wrath of the authorities.

This, however, has not diminished Ms. Ressa’s drive as a journalist to seek the truth and to call authorities to account. Although she was personally attacked and received death threats, she has stated that she will always remain “the canary in the coalmine” and she will keep speaking out for the next generation. Ms. Ressa is a true advocate of the freedom of speech and expression and an example and inspiration to us all.