Princeton salutes Maria Ressa, alumni in ‘Time 100’ most influential list
In a tweet Thursday, April 18, the university recognized Ressa, who appeared on the prestigious list as an “icon.”
Quoting a write up penned by former United States secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the university highlighted how Ressa was “committed to exposing corruption, documenting abuse, and combatting misinformation.”
Congratulations to the 5️⃣ #PrincetonU alumni who were named to @TIME's #TIME100 list!— Princeton University (@Princeton) April 17, 2019
First up is @mariaressa '86 by @madeleine. https://t.co/eAcLah21Tq
Maria is "committed to exposing corruption, documenting abuse and combatting misinformation."
Princeton also congratulated 4 other alumni on the Time list: former US first lady and best-selling author Michelle Obama, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former US congressional staffer and Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin, and US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Ressa graduated from the university in 1986.
The release of Time magazine’s list came after Ressa visited her alma matter last April 8 to 9, where she spoke to students and faculty about her career and journalism in the Philippines.
“Princeton’s traditions, its vibrant community of ideas, and its Honor Code have always been part of my life…. It’s the bedrock of my foundation in the standards and ethics of journalism,” Ressa wrote in her newsletter, “Brave New World.”
During the visit, Ressa shared with students Rappler’s investigation, which used data from social media to expose how state-sponsored online hate campaigns were designed to intimidate and silence dissent.
She also spoke about Rappler’s investigation into the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, which police say has claimed over 5,000 lives since 2018, but which the United Nations human rights office estimated at 27,000 as of March 2019.
“What’s become clear to me though is that if we do not challenge these small atrocities, when the government normalizes acts that violate the Constitution, we contribute to our democracy’s death by a thousand cuts,” Ressa said.
Ressa is facing a string of cases in the Philippines as the Duterte administration slams Rappler for its critical coverage. Ressa has since posted bail 8 times and has been arrested twice.
Distinguished Princeton University alumni earlier expressed their solidarity with Ressa as they called on government officials, policy makers, and businesses to 'press' the Philippine government to end its harassment of Ressa and the Philippine press.
Speaking to students from The Daily Princetonian, the university’s publication, Ressa said: “I’m a cautionary tale for journalists who talk too much and who question too much. That doesn’t mean I’m going to change who I am.”
“That’s our job, and as long as our constitution holds, we’ll continue exercising these rights. If the constitution changes, then easier for me…. We got to fight,” she added. – Rappler.com