2021 Nobel Prize winner and journalist in Asia for nearly 35 years, Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler's executive editor and CEO, Maria has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail eight times to stay free. Rappler's battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts.
Most recently, Maria co-founded The Real Facebook Oversight Board—composed of 25 academics, journalists, and activists that will rival the social media platform's own board.
For her courage and work on disinformation and “fake news,” Maria was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, named Time Magazine's 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time's Most Influential Women of the Century. She was also part of BBC's 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019 and Prospect magazine's world's top 50 thinkers. Among many awards, she received the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Knight International Journalism Award from the International Center for Journalists, the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford University, the Columbia Journalism Award, the Free Media Pioneer Award from the International Press Institute, and the Sergei Magnitsky Award for Investigative Journalism.
Before founding Rappler, Maria focused on investigating terrorism in Southeast Asia. She opened and ran CNN's Manila Bureau for nearly a decade before opening the network's Jakarta Bureau, which she ran from 1995 to 2005. She wrote Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism.
Maria was featured in the 2020 documentary “A Thousand Cuts,” which profiles her fearless reporting on the abuses of Duterte's presidency, while also illustrating social media's capacity to deceive and entrench political power.
Your keynote created goosebumps—that truly was a very special DLD moment. We really need role models like you to create awareness about what's going on in our world and there's still so much work to do to ensure free speech and fight fake news.
DLD Munich 2020
Thank you for joining us as a plenary speaker at the 2021 Skoll World Forum and for your thoughtful preparation in developing your keynote. The Closing Plenary aired this morning to a community of 1000+ and the admiration for you and your work was off the charts.
2021 Skoll World Forum
Keywords: Crisis Management, Digital Media, Journalism, Leadership, Civil Rights, Media, Social Media, International Affairs, Politics, Corporate Governance, Technology, Nobel Prize, Author