Maria Ressa Biography

Maria Ressa is a Filipino-American journalist, author and business executive. She is currently the chief executive officer of online news site Rappler.

Maria Ressa
Maria Ressa (Credit: Facebook Page)

On June 15, 2020, Maria Ressa was convicted for libel and sentenced to jail by Manila Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa. Filed against her by businessman Wilfredo Keng, the case arose from a Rappler’s story published online in 2012 imputing among others his links to illegal drugs and human trafficking and that he lent his car to then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. The verdict was condemned as a blow to press freedom by local and international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. The Duterte Administration however, maintained that the decision has nothing to do with press freedom and asked journalists to respect it.

Activist lawyer Amal Clooney is leading the legal team representing Ressa.

Maria Ressa is facing other cases including foreign ownership of Rappler and tax evasion.

Personal Information
Complete Name –> Maria Angelita Ressa
Birth Date –> October 2, 1963
Hometown –> Manila, Philippines

Family and Childhood
Maria Ressa was born of Filipino parents in Manila. When she was one year old, her father passed away and her mother immigrated to the United States where she remarried. Ten years later, her mother brought her to the United States where she continued her studies at Toms River High School North in New Jersey. Her stepfather adopted her and she took his family name.

High School –> Toms River High School North in New Jersey, USA
College –> Princeton University
Degree –> Bachelor of Arts in English with certificates in theater and dance (1986)
Master –> University of the Philippines Diliman

Career Highlights
Chief Executive Officer, Rappler
Former Southeast Asia Visiting Scholar, The CORE Lab at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
Former Author in Residence, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore
Former Senior Vice President, News & Current Affairs at ABS-CBN
Former Jakarta Bureau Chief, CNN
Former Manila Bureau Chief, CNN
Founder, Probe Productions
Reporter, PTV-4

2019 – Time’s 100 Most Influential Women in the World
2019 – Columbia University Journalism Award
2019 – Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Tribute honour
2019 – BBC 100 Women
2018 – Time’s Person of the Year
2018 – World Association of Newspapers’s Golden Pen of Freedom Award
2017 – Democracy Award by the National Democratic Institute
2015 – Excellence in Broadcasting Lifetime Achievement award, 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television

See also: List of Filipino Authors

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