Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa meets Filipinos in Oslo, gives tips to solve effects of lies

Jairo Bolledo
Maria Ressa meets Filipinos in Oslo, gives tips to solve effects of lies

HOLD THE LINE. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa displays a shirt as she speaks during the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony at the Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2021.

Nobel Prize/YouTube

The Rappler CEO and Nobel laureate also gives three points to address the division in society caused by lies and disinformation

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) and Nobel laureate Maria Ressa shared her momentous victory with the Filipino community in Oslo, Norway, shortly after she received her award. 

After Ressa received her award along with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov as Nobel Peace Prize laureates on Friday, December 10, the veteran journalist came to see some Filipinos based in Norway for a quick meetup and interview. During the conversation, Ressa was asked about the importance of personally receiving the award. 

“If I had not gotten approval, we would have been the first government since Germany. And then before China, it was Germany, that was the last time…But I’m really good, I’m here ‘di ba? (right?)” Ressa happily told her fellow Filipinos. 

The Nobel laureate further added that it was “horrible” at first. 

“It’s horrible but flip it, it’s gotta get better. Gano’n naman talaga eh (That’s the way it is),” Ressa said. 

In late November, Solicitor General Jose Calida filed an opposition with the Court of Appeals (CA) to block Ressa from traveling to Oslo to personally receive her award. Exactly seven days before the awarding ceremony, the CA’s Special Seventh Division issued a resolution that granted Ressa’s motion to travel. 

Solving the “divide”

Aside from meeting the Filipino community, the Nobel laureate also provided some key points to help solve the division in society caused by lies and disinformation. 

“So the first is [to] make sure the people know they’re being manipulated. That’s the first,” the Nobel laureate explained. 

Ressa further explained that communities of action are also needed to address the problem of division among society. 

“The second is we organize communities of action. And one of the things we do is we ask the platforms. We’re partners with these platforms and we tell them, we show them the data of what they’re doing,” Ressa said. 

For her last point, she suggested people should urge democratic states to help in fighting disinformation.  

“The third is we demand democratic states to take action. right? In today’s Nobel lecture, I actually talked about [the] democracy action plan of the EU (European Union). They have a draft law, the digital services act that’s probably the best out there. But, I also focused on the US because it’s their section 230 that allows the lies, that allows the information operation,” Ressa said. 

“This a whole-of-society approach,” the Nobel laureate emphasized. 

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FULL TEXT: Maria Ressa’s speech at Nobel Peace Prize awarding

FULL TEXT: Maria Ressa’s speech at Nobel Peace Prize awarding

On Friday night, Ressa made history as the first Filipino to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication in fighting for press freedom. The Rappler CEO received the prize along with Muratov, editor in chief of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. 

The annual ceremony is being held in honor of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The Nobel committee gives the “prizes to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” – 

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.