Human Interest

Maria Ressa: “We live in a time when lies kill”

By Eric San Juan

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, Oct 12 (EFE).- “We live in a time when lies kill and the very platforms that deliver the news are biased against facts and they are biased against journalism and journalists,” said Nobel Peace Prize winner, Maria Ressa, in an interview with Efe.

Along with fellow journalist, Russian Dmitry Muratov, Ressa was awarded the peace prize for her efforts in safeguarding freedom of expression in her homeland the Philippines and exposing the abuse of power, violence and growing authoritarianism led by president Rodrigo Duterte.

“If you don’t have facts, you can’t have truth, you can’t have trust, which means you have no shared reality and it becomes impossible to solve any problem, to create anything,” she said.

The 58-year-old’s short stature and soft voice bely her strength and determination not be fazed by the media campaigns against her nor by the judicial harassment she has suffered in recent years.

“We must win this battle, we have no choice,” she urged.

Ressa said she was at first “stunned” and “speechless” about winning the prize, but then felt encouraged by the Nobel committee.

“It was shining light on how difficult it has been for journalists. I thought it was amazing, fantastic because it will be helpful not only for us here in the Philippines, but for every journalist around the world.”

Ressa is the co-founder of Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism in the Philippines.

When asked if she thought the state of journalism was worse than when she started, she said “absolutely”.

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