press freedom - updates

Rappler's latest stories on press freedom


Russia tells U.S. to 'mind own business' over media freedom

Jul 08, 2020 - 4:18 PM

The spokeswoman for the US embassy in Moscow tweets: 'Watching arrest after arrest of Russian journalists – it's starting to look like a concerted campaign against #MediaFreedom'

ARRESTED. Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and aide to the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, detained on charges of treason for divulging state military secrets, stands inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Moscow on July 7, 2020. Photo by Vasily Maximov/AFP

[OPINION] Duterte raises the bar on impunity

Jul 08, 2020 - 4:10 PM

'It is now hoped that petitions to junk the anti-terror law filed in the Supreme Court can be judiciously decided sooner than later'

[OPINION] The moment of truth for the ABS-CBN franchise

Jul 08, 2020 - 1:08 PM

'Already, many people in the provinces and our islands have lost access to their only sources of news. This has life and death implications for many...'

Duterte 'compiling' information vs Maria Ressa

Jul 08, 2020 - 11:47 AM

The President slams 'bright girls' who write critically of his government. He also claims he doesn't read well-written articles that show him in a bad light.

Russia detains ex-defense reporter for treason

Jul 08, 2020 - 11:31 AM

'The case against Ivan Safronov is an absolutely new level of repression against journalism in the country,' says security analyst Andrei Soldatov

DETAINED. Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and aide to the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, is escorted inside a court building after being detained on charges of treason for divulging state military secrets, Moscow, July 7, 2020. Photo by Vasily Maximov/AFP

Malaysia probes Al Jazeera documentary about migrant arrests

Jul 07, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Concerns about worsening freedom of expression have been growing in Malaysia since the collapse of a reformist government in February and the return of a scandal-plagued party to power

Russian journalist avoids jail but given huge fine in 'terror' case

Jul 07, 2020 - 11:32 AM

'The biggest success is that I was not forbidden from working in my profession,' the journalist tells the crowd, sporting a T-shirt that says 'We will not shut up'

A protester holds a placard reading "Putin lies" during an opposition rally in central Moscow, on March 10, 2019, to demand internet freedom in Russia. - Thousands of people rallied against Russia's increasingly restrictive internet policies which some say will eventually lead to "total censorship" and isolate the country from the world. The mass rally in Moscow and smaller events in other cities across the country was called after the Russian lower house of parliament backed a bill to stop Russian internet traffic from being routed on foreign servers, in a bit to boost cybersecurity. (Photo by Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

[OPINION] Defiance as a moral obligation

Jul 06, 2020 - 2:20 PM

'Jesus, in the Gospel, said that if a hand causes you to sin, it has to be cut off. This means that things that enable immorality have to be fought and abolished.'

[OPINION | Just Saying] Judges should not take offense

Jul 03, 2020 - 10:00 AM

'[Judges] cannot just blame people for making negative outbursts regarding their decisions'

Turkey to try Khashoggi murder suspects in absentia – fiancee

Jul 01, 2020 - 8:45 AM

The suspects are charged with 'deliberately and monstrously killing, causing torment'

A man passes in front of a screen showing Jamal Khashoggi during a commemoration event of Khashoggi's supporters on November 11, 2018 in Istanbul. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on November 11, 2018 that the US will hold accountable all involved in killing a dissident Saudi journalist. OZAN KOSE / AFP

Philanthropists save Australia's AAP newswire from closure

Jun 30, 2020 - 10:30 AM

The investor consortium, which includes former News Corp chief Peter Tonagh, tells staff in an email they shared 'a common goal – a desire to protect media diversity in Australia'

[OPINION] Beyond legalities and technicalities: How the court decision challenges us to keep press freedom alive

Jun 30, 2020 - 8:22 AM

'Fear is not what we need at this time, of all times. Especially if fear tricks us into seeing enemies where there are only fellow Filipinos and fellow human beings...'

[ANALYSIS] The global significance of the Ressa-Santos convictions

Jun 29, 2020 - 11:00 AM

'To think that the conviction will only last for at least 6 years is wrong. This imprisonment will last for generations and lifetimes to come, and haunt the national memory.'

Maria Ressa to receive international 2020 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award

Jun 27, 2020 - 11:55 AM

The Washington-based National Press Club has chosen Rappler CEO Maria Ressa for its international Press Freedom Award, which is given to an individual 'who bravely pushes to disclose the truth in trying circumstances'

[ANALYSIS] Understanding the Ressa-Santos convictions

Jun 26, 2020 - 7:49 PM

'How can an offense deemed to be so minor such as libel and a right so fundamental such as the freedom of speech and of the press stir so much conflict and confusion?'

U.N. experts renew call for urgent probe into Philippines' human rights abuses

Jun 26, 2020 - 9:22 AM

(UPDATED) The experts also call on the International Criminal Court to 'expedite and prioritize the completion of its preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines'

Condemning the killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's admininstration, relatives of victims of extra judicial killings along with human rights groups picketed the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City. Demanding justice for their slain kin amidst the recent adoption of the Iceland resolution at the UNHRC to investigate the human rights violations and drug war related killings in the Philippines. July 17, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Top Hungary news site says independence in 'grave danger'

Jun 22, 2020 - 1:09 PM editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull says a 'proposed organizational overhaul' put Index 'under such external pressure that could spell out the end of our editorial staff as we know it'

INDEX.HU. Background is screenshot of website.

'A Thousand Cuts' wins best international feature at New Zealand film festival

Jun 20, 2020 - 12:22 PM

The film by Ramona Diaz follows Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, as it covers democracy and press freedom in the Philippines

A THOUSAND CUTS. Rappler CEO appears in Ramona Diaz's documentary on press freedom in the Philippines. Screenshot from

Trump appointee shakes up U.S. broadcasting, raising fears

Jun 19, 2020 - 11:09 AM

'This kind of blatant political interference has long been the norm in the developing countries with which I'm most familiar, but not in the US,' Janet Steele, director of the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at George Washington University

TRUMP. In this file photo taken on March 6, 2020 US President Donald Trump speaks after touring tornado damage in Cookeville, Tennessee. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP

After verdict on Maria Ressa, world puts Duterte on trial

Jun 16, 2020 - 9:46 PM

(UPDATED) In this global court, at stake is more than a fine and jail time, but the Philippines’ name on the world stage

CYBER LIBEL. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, along with former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr, is sentenced by a Manila court on June 15, 2020, for cyber libel. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

[OPINION | Newspoint] From here to cyber’nity

Jun 16, 2020 - 7:00 PM

The cybercrime law goes against the universal trend toward making libel no longer punishable by imprisonment, a long-overdue reinforcement of press freedom in its lopsided relationship to power

Media watchdog: Freedom of expression a ‘personal challenge’ to all Filipinos

Jun 16, 2020 - 4:52 PM

The cyber libel verdict on Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Rey Santos Jr affects all citizens, says the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility

Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria at the Manila Trial Court on June 15, 2020 attends the promulgation of a cyber libel case file against her and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santo Jr. by businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Progressive orgs slam Duterte for taking advantage of pandemic to attack media

Jun 16, 2020 - 2:19 PM

The Save Our Schools Network says it believes the conviction is part of the Duterte administration's aim to silence critical media

PRESS CONFERENCE. Maria Ressa (center) and former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. face media after libel trial verdict was read by a Manila court. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

After ruling vs Ressa, uploaded old print articles vulnerable to cyber libel

Jun 16, 2020 - 1:39 PM

'In other words, your articles from 3 ago or even 10 years ago can be used to sue you for cyber libel on the ground that they had been republished,' says lawyer Romel Bagares, one of the petitioners against the 2012 Cybercrime Law

CYBER LIBEL. Maria Ressa arrives at the Manila Trial court on June 15, 2020, for the promulgation of a cyber libel case against Rappler by businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

IBP questions jail sentence for Maria Ressa despite SC guidance to set only fines

Jun 16, 2020 - 10:50 AM

Manila Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa says social media makes 'the keyboard mightier than the pen and thus mightier than the sword'

CONVICTION. Maria Ressa arrives at the Manila Trial court on June 15, 2020, for the promulgation of a cyberlibel case against Rappler by businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Top Russia newspaper editors quit, denouncing censorship

Jun 16, 2020 - 10:42 AM

While the daily newspaper focuses on business and industry news, its editorial section has become a vital space for dissenting voices and debate on political life in Russia

A photo taken on June 10, 2019 in Moscow, shows the front pages of Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK dailies newspapers reading "I am (we are) Ivan Golunov". - Russia's three most respected dailies on June 10 published the same front page in an unprecedented act of solidarity over the arrest of an investigative reporter on drug charges. Golunov, a 36-year-old investigative reporter with Meduza, an independent Russian-language media outlet, was detained last week over allegations that he manufactured and dealt drugs. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP)

Rappler receives One World Media Special Award 2020

Jun 16, 2020 - 9:59 AM

The Special Award seeks to recognize reporting that informs the public, provides an outlet for people's voices, creates space for critical information, and holds power to account

Twitter expresses support for Maria Ressa, press freedom

Jun 16, 2020 - 12:18 AM

'Governments should not impinge on the fundamental values of a free press,' says Twitter

Malacañang claims Duterte supports free press but leaves out threats vs media

Jun 15, 2020 - 4:55 PM

After the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque uses President Rodrigo Duterte’s backing of a Davao-based journalist in an old libel case as proof he supports press freedom

DEFENDING PRESS FREEDOM? President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 28, 2020. Malacañang photo

UN experts condemn guilty verdict on Ressa, Santos: 'Tragedy for PH democracy'

Jun 15, 2020 - 11:32 AM

'What a complete travesty of justice and an outrage,' says UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye

DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM. Maria Ressa leaves Manila Trial Court Branch 46 after she and co-accused Reynaldo Santos Jr were handed a guilty verdict for cyberliber against businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

‘A sad day for democracy’: Filipinos denounce guilty verdict in Rappler cyber libel case

Jun 15, 2020 - 11:23 AM

(UPDATED) Filipinos online say the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr is ‘another cut to add to the thousands’

[EDITORIAL] Dagok sa demokrasya

Jun 15, 2020 - 9:28 AM

Sa ibinabang desisyon, hindi batas ang nangibabaw; ang nagwagi ay ang pagbaluktot ng batas para sa kasiyahan at interes ng mga nasa kapangyarihan at kanilang mga kasabwat

Maria Ressa, Rey Santos Jr convicted of cyber libel

Jun 15, 2020 - 9:13 AM

(4th UPDATE) The court rules only Rappler as a company is not guilty

RAPPLER CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa confers with co-accused Reynaldo Santos Jr (right) and counsel Ted Te at the Manila Trial Court Branch 46, where Judge Montesa hands down a guilty verdict in the cyber libel case filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

VERDICT PRIMER: Legal and factual issues in Rappler, Maria Ressa cyber libel case

Jun 13, 2020 - 9:32 PM

(UPDATED) Cyber libel is punishable by jail time of 6 months and 1 day to up to 7 years. If acquitted, Maria Ressa faces 7 other criminal charges.

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was arrested Wednesday, February 13, for a cyber libel charge

‘A painful but necessary watch’: Filipinos laud ‘A Thousand Cuts’

Jun 13, 2020 - 5:57 PM

(UPDATED) The online screening of ‘A Thousand Cuts,’ a documentary on the struggles of the free press under the Duterte administration, was met with praise all over social media

FRONTLINE, ICFJ to present conversation with Rappler's Maria Ressa on press freedom

Jun 13, 2020 - 11:01 AM

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, 'A Thousand Cuts' director Ramona Diaz, and FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath will engage in a conversation on 'Truth, Power and the Importance of Press Freedom' on Saturday, June 13

A CONVERSATION WITH MARIA RESSA. FRONTLINE is hosting a conversation with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and 'A Thousand Cuts' director Ramona Diaz on Saturday, June 13. Image from FRONTLINE.

Never again, vow Filipino journalists on Independence Day

Jun 12, 2020 - 12:35 PM

At least 30 groups and close to a 100 journalists sign a joint statement to 'renew our pledge to serve the people, to continue speaking truth to power, and to guard and defend freedom of the press and of expression from all threats'

'Frontline' acquires Ramona Diaz's 'A Thousand Cuts'

Jun 12, 2020 - 11:00 AM

PBS' investigative documentary series 'Frontline' is planning an August 2020 theatrical release for Ramona Diaz's film on Philippine press freedom under President Duterte

U.N. Rapporteur writes PH court in Rappler case to protect journalism

Jun 11, 2020 - 8:02 PM

David Kaye says he hopes his brief will give Judge Montesa 'a greater understanding of the role of journalists and the special protection all Member States must accord'

AMICUS BRIEF. United Nation Special Rapporteur David Kaye submits an amicus brief to the Manila court handling the cyber libel case against Rappler. File photo by Adem Altam/AFP

Maria Ressa 'embraces fear' but hopeful ahead of cyber libel verdict

Jun 10, 2020 - 6:00 PM

(UPDATED) An exclusive video interview by Agence France-Presse with Rappler CEO Maria Ressa ahead of a Manila court's judgment on Monday, June 15

Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa gives a statement to the media at the Manila Regional Trial Court after posting bail for cyberlibel charge on February 14, 2019. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

[OPINION] What is the need for this anti-terror bill?

Jun 05, 2020 - 8:10 PM

'The timing, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, is telling'

[OPINION | Newspoint] An official act of terrorism

Jun 05, 2020 - 12:12 PM

'The ultimate and ironic bad joke is actually on us non-terrorists: the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 is itself an official, legal act of terrorism'

Anxiety rises over attacks on media covering U.S. protests

Jun 03, 2020 - 10:36 AM

A tally by media watchdog groups cites 192 press freedom violations during the latest wave of protests including 131 assaults, of which 108 were by police

PROTEST. Manhattan, NY protest George Floyd's death on May 31, 2020. Photo by Ryan Songalia/Rappler

Verdict on Rappler, Maria Ressa cyber libel case out June 15

Jun 01, 2020 - 5:15 PM

Postponed due to the coronavirus lockdown, judgment day for Ressa and former researcher-writer Rey Santos will take place in a court under quarantine restrictions

Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa inside the Manila RTC to attend the cyberlibel case hearing on December 16, 2019.  Photo by Lito Borras/ Rappler

Journalists covering U.S. protests find themselves under attack

Jun 01, 2020 - 9:53 AM

A black CNN journalist is arrested by police in Minneapolis – even as he reports live on camera following the death of George Floyd

POLICE. Police officers block a road on the fourth day of protests on May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Zambales barangay official in hot water for 'verbally assaulting' Inquirer reporter

May 30, 2020 - 10:11 AM

A barangay kagawad makes threats to correspondent Joanna Rose Aglibot and her family, prompting the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to issue an alert

FALSE: ABS-CBN’s 1995 franchise allows only one channel

May 28, 2020 - 5:21 PM

(UPDATED) Nothing in ABS-CBN’s 1995 franchise says that it allows the broadcast of only one channel

Australian media to be tried for contempt over reporting on George Pell

May 26, 2020 - 1:50 PM

If convicted, the journalists face prison terms of up to 5 years and the media organizations fines of up to Aus$500,000

GEORGE PELL. Cardinal George Pell (R) leaves the County Court of Victoria court after prosecutors decided not to proceed with a second trial on alleged historical child sexual offences in Melbourne on February 26, 2019. File photo by Con Chronis/AFP

ABS-CBN employees petition House to grant network new franchise

May 23, 2020 - 4:39 PM

The petition, which got over a million signatures in just day, is launched days before the House hearing on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal bills

Employees and supporters of ABS CBN continue their Friday protest to demand from the government to renew their franchise on February 28, 2020. Holding a rally at the ABS CBN compound at Sgt. Esquearra in Quezon City. Reiterating their call to defend press freedom and vowed to continue the protest actions until the franchise have been renewed. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Advertising slump during virus crisis hits media jobs

May 23, 2020 - 11:47 AM

Several media workers around the world experience layoffs and wage cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic