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Journalist Maria Ressa talks politics in the Philippines, winning the Nobel Peace Prize

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is scheduled to take the oath of office on Thursday as the next president of the Philippines

Filipinos voted him into office by a substantial margin in May — in a campaign marked by wide use of social media.

Critics say that included false claims and misinformation.

Maria Ressa heads the Filipino media group Rappler. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for using “freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country.”

She told HPR that the election in the Philippines shows a broader trend.

“I think we’re emblematic of the dangers of disinformation, the dangers of social media run rampant, the kind of technology that has become a behavior modification system," Ressa told HPR.

"And then, you know, it’s not just that. It’s the fact that the trickle-down ideas of the economy didn’t trickle down, that people want, in a very complex world, simple answers," she said. "We’ve seen the rise of digital populists. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. campaigned on nothing but one word: unity."

Ressa says she remains open to seeing how Marcos Jr. works with unity.


Maria Ressa and Bill Dorman 062722.jpg
Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Maria Ressa and Bill Dorman at Hawaiʻi Public Radio on June 27, 2022.

Maria Ressa was in Honolulu to give the keynote address at the East-West Center’s International Media Conference on Tuesday morning.

She sat down with Hawaiʻi Public Radio News Director Bill Dorman, also her former colleague at CNN, to talk about Rappler, covering politics in the Philippines, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and more.

This interview aired on The Conversation on June 27, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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