Episode 122 – Hold the Line: Standing Up for Press Freedom with Maria Ressa (Social Distance Series)
Have you ever thought about how do you get your news? Obtaining news has quickly evolved over the years. Just in the TFAL crew’s lifetimes, the ways we have consumed news has transitioned from physical newspapers to local afternoon TV news to news sites then to social media feeds. In this new era of rapid information consumption where facts are outweighed by opinion, who and where we get our news from has detrimental consequences.
In this episode, the TFAL crew has the honor of speaking with Maria Ressa, long time Philippine journalist and CEO of Rappler. In 2018, Time Magazine named Maria one of “The Guardians on the War on Truth” as a Person of the Year in 2018, and then named her one of the most influential people of 2019 for her fight to keep the freedom of press alive in the Philippines in the Duterte era. In this conversation, we discuss how social media has manipulated journalism and the way people think, how it’s deteriorating democracy in the Philippines, and why it is important for Filipino Americans to understand what is going on.
Note: We recorded this episode hours before President Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill into law on July 3rd, 2020, fundamentally changing the constitution of the country and making dissent illegal. The administration has been slowly dismantling freedom of the press taking advantage of how social media’s reach has fundamentally changed how people think. This is a dangerous time and, as Maria Ressa urged in our interview, we must all remain vigilant in fighting for democracy.
If you would like to support Rappler’s pursuit for freedom of the press, you can donate here: Rappler Crowdfunding
On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder is the book Maria mentions in the episode.
You can view Maria’s Princeton Commencement speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-1ip9eRNNU
Or read the full text of her commencement speech here: Princeton Commencement 2020 Speech