A win for Maria, Rappler and press freedom

18 January 2022: Filipina journalist Maria Ressa recently won a four-year legal battle initiated by the administration of former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, which falsely claimed that her media outlet Rappler was foreign-owned. This baseless charge has become a standard for what journalist Kathy Kiely calls the “dictator’s playbook” — tactics that seem to be passed around the globe by those in positions of power trying to muzzle critics and silence dissent.

Rappler’s video of Maria Ressa’s emotional reaction gives a rare insight into the kind of pressure this remarkably upbeat woman has been enduring.

However, this does not end Ressa’s trials — both literal and figurative. An appeal of her conviction on the charge of “cyber-libel,” a crime that did not even exist in Philippine law at the time Maria is supposed to have committed it, is before the country’s Supreme Court. A ruling against her would send the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate to jail for nearly seven years.

Read more at: A win for Maria, Rappler and press freedom – by Kathy Kiely in Princetonians for Maria, 18 January 2022

Lead photo courtesy: The Guardian

Related: How can journalists counter the ‘Dictators’ Handbook’?

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