Maria Ressa has been a journalist in Asia for over 35 years. She received the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Dmitry Muratov in 2021 for their "efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."
Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, a digital investigative news site leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. Rappler has documented persecution and summary execution of thousands of people under former President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime, fact-checked government statements, and exposed fake news. As Rappler's CEO and president, Maria has endured constant political harassment, arrests, and ongoing legal challenges, while Rappler has faced numerous attempts to have its license revoked.
Rappler's battle for truth and democracy is portrayed in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary A Thousand Cuts.
Maria was born in the Philippines but grew up in the United States after her family migrated to New Jersey in 1973. She graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. degree in English and certificates in theater and dance in 1986. She returned to Manila in 1986 and worked for the newly liberated government station, People's Television 4. In 1987, she began reporting for CNN, and joined ABS-CBN.
Before co-founding Rappler, Maria investigated terrorism in Southeast Asia. She opened and ran CNN's Manila Bureau for nearly a decade before moving to Indonesia and opening the network's Jakarta bureau. In 2005 she returned to Manila as the senior vice president in charge of ABS-CBN's multimedia news operations.
Maria wrote “Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia”, “From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism”, and “How to Stand up to a Dictator”.
She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Golden Pen of Freedom Award, the Knight International Journalism Award, the Columbia Journalism Award, the Sergei Magnitsky Award for Investigative Journalism, and many others.