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Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa will speak at UD on “Exposing Truth, Challenging Power.”
Editor’s note: International travel issues will prevent
Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa from appearing in person at the
University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall, as planned. She will deliver her
presentation via Zoom to the audience at Mitchell Hall, beginning at 7
p.m., on Wednesday, April 27.
Maria Ressa, a 2021
Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist, will visit the University of
Delaware on Wednesday, April 27, to speak about her fight for freedom of
the press under the authoritarian regime of Philippine President
Ressa’s talk, “Exposing Truth, Challenging Power,” will begin at 7
p.m. in Mitchell Hall on the University’s Newark campus. The event is
free and open to the public.
The event, hosted by the Department of Communication, will mark World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on May 3.
Ressa, a Filipino-American journalist who has worked in Asia for
nearly 35 years, will be joined on stage by Ralph Begleiter, Rosenberg
Professor Emeritus of Communication, for a conversation about her career
and current events. She and Begleiter were colleagues at CNN, where
both worked as international journalists.
A co-founder of Rappler, the top digital-only news site
leading the fight for freedom in the Philippines, Ressa has traveled the
world speaking out about disinformation and fake news. She has been
subjected to political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government
and has been forced to post bail eight times to stay free.
Before founding Rappler, she 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 is the author of 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."
In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, Ressa has received numerous
awards for her contributions to journalism and human rights. She was
named Time Magazine's 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most
Influential People of 2019, has been named one of Time's Most
Influential Women of the Century and is a co-founder of The Real
Facebook Oversight Board. She was also part of BBC’s “100 most inspiring
and influential women of 2019” and Prospect magazine's “world's top 50
The event at UD is part of the expansion of the Initiative on Free
and Responsible Expression (I-FRE), developed by Jennifer Lambe,
associate professor of communication, in a mission to conduct research
and engage the public about issues where free expression conflicts with
other important values.
According to Lambe, Ressa “exemplifies what a brave and committed
journalist and newsroom leader can accomplish, even under the weight of
an oppressive dictatorship."
Ressa, Lambe said, “calls out the role of internet companies in
damaging our information ecosystem and points to economic imperatives
that have allowed hate speech and misinformation to proliferate while
quality journalism languishes."
The April 27 event exemplifies I-FRE’s mission
of exploring the tensions between hate speech and free speech
generally, attempts to balance free speech and diversity efforts on
college and university campuses specifically and efforts to improve
information literacy and the quality of public discourse.
The initiative develops public programming and resources, including:
Article by College of Arts and Sciences communications staff; photo courtesy of Project Speakers
Published April 18, 2022
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