Today’s conviction of its founder and the unlawful arrest of other staff members has not stopped Rappler from uncovering corruption and fighting for press freedom.
Ahead of the One World Media Awards later this week, today we are pleased to announce that Rappler will be the recipient of the prestigious One World Media Special Award 2020.
The independent news site Rappler is responsible for uncovering President Duterte’s extensive fake news campaign and reporting fearlessly on the extrajudicial killings being carried out by security forces as part of Duterte’s brutal war on drugs. Rappler’s ‘#DefendPressFreedom’ campaign built widespread support and has highlighted the rising threat against journalists not just in the Philippines but all over the world. Despite the conviction of its founder and the unlawful arrest of other staff members, Rappler has defied intense efforts to close it down.
The Award was accepted by Maria Ressa Founder and Chief Executive, Rappler, prior to her conviction on June 15th of cyber libel charges in the Philippines. In an interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow last week, she said, “Thank you for recognising our work, because it helps to keep us safe. I think the battles that are occurring in the Philippines are now occurring in many other countries around the world. Our dystopian present is moving to the democracy near you, so I think that we have to hold the line.”
When asked about her upcoming trial, she said, “At Rappler, my role is to be the lightning rod. I can take the attacks so that my team can continue doing the work.”
Gemma Bradshaw, Director, One World Media said: “We stand with Maria Ressa and the team at Rappler as they continue to fight for press freedom. Rappler is hugely deserving of this year’s One World Media Special Award. Maria Ressa is an inspiration, leading Rappler to investigate those in power and to play their part in a global movement for journalism, even while facing intimidation and the threat of imprisonment.”
Rappler was selected as the recipient of this year’s Special Award by a jury panel in April 2020, which is awarded annually to an independent media organisation based in a developing country using media to address social, cultural, political and economic issues.
The Award seeks to recognise and encourage outstanding reporting that informs the public, provides an outlet for local people’s voices, creates a space for critical information and holds those in power to account.
As part of the awards exhibition we will be streaming an exclusive interview between Channel 4’s Jon Snow and Rappler’s Maria Ressa. You can register here to view.