Maria Ressa wins Stanford's Shorenstein Journalism Award

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa will be awarded the Shorenstein Journalism Award.

The annual award by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center (APARC) at Stanford University is conferred to veteran journalists who have "contributed significantly to greater understanding of Asia through outstanding reporting on critical issues affecting the region."

Ressa was chosen by a new selection committee who comprise "diverse journalistic and Asia expertise," according to the website.

She will receive the award in Stanford in California during the fall quarter this year.

A report on the Stanford University quoted Shorenstein APARC director Gi-Wook Shin who said: "Maria Ressa is a champion of digital journalism innovation, and a paragon of protecting democracy and speaking truth to power."

"For decades, before she became internationally acclaimed for her brave fight to ‘hold the line,’ Maria’s work had provided deep insights into the complexities of Southeast Asia based on her nuanced knowledge, investigative skills, and the ability to draw upon them to connect with audiences around the world," he added.

Ressa and Rappler have been under threat since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power in 2016. The Philippine leader had repeatedly attacked Rappler in public addresses, following its investigative reports on his bloody campaign against illegal drugs. (READ: Rappler on latest case: Pattern of harassment has not stopped)

Ressa was arrested on February 13 on a cyber libel charge. In March, she was arrested for alleged violation of the anti-dummy law. She posted bail in both cases. (LIST: Cases vs Maria Ressa, Rappler directors, staff since 2018)

In May, Ressa was conferred the Columbia Journalism Award at the Columbia Journalism School for "the depth and quality" of her work as well as her "courage and persistence in the field."

Ressa was also named Time magazine's "Person of the Year" 2018, alongside several other journalists under siege in their respective countries, including slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were released only last May 7 after over 500 days of imprisonment in Myanmar.

In the same year, she won the coveted Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), and the 2018 Knight International Journalism Award– Rappler.com