Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa to receive 2024 Cannes LionHeart award

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Maria Ressa to receive 2024 Cannes LionHeart award

Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa at the inaugural summit of the Institute of Global Politics (IGP) at SIPA, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs on October 3, 2023.

Shahar Azran

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is recognized by Cannes Lions for 'leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines'

MANILA, Philippines – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Maria Ressa is the recipient of the prestigious 2024 Cannes LionHeart award, Cannes Lion announced on Thursday, May 9.

The award is given to an individual “who has harnessed their position to make a significant and positive difference to the world around us,” the organizing committee said.

Ressa is recognized for her “battle for truth and democracy” as the co-founder and CEO of Rappler, the Philippine news organization “leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines.”

“We’re delighted to honor Maria Ressa with such an important accolade. This recognition underpins the relentless dedication to safeguarding freedom of expression, through her remarkable leadership of Rappler to combat the spread of misinformation,” Simon Cook, LIONS CEO said in a press statement.

Ressa – who has faced political harassment and multiple arrests by the Duterte administration – was “instrumental” in redefining investigative journalism, Cook said. “Her creativity and work is an inspiration to us all.”

Ressa will be personally receiving the award on the evening of June 21, during the final awards show of the Cannes Film Festival. Beforehand, she will be at the Debussy Stage to deliver a keynote speech and hold exclusive interviews.

Accepting the award, Ressa thanks the awards body for “recognizing the work of Rappler, where [we] continue to fight against the odds to help create the world we want.”

“We’re standing on the rubble of the world that was: where technology, violence and war challenge our humanity. The Cannes LionHeart reminds us that imagination and creativity, sparking empathy, are crucial to get us through these dark times; that power and money are not enough; and that inspiration ignites the good in each of us,” she said.

Ressa has been awarded locally and internationally for Rappler’s journalistic integrity, courageous storytelling, and interconnected communities of action. Ressa released her first book, How To Stand Up To a Dictator, in November 2022, about holding the line to protect democracy.

In October 2021, Ressa and fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia, respectively. Ressa is the first Filipino to become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

More information on the Cannes Lions can be found here. –

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