Ressa’s Time citation: A ‘recognition of the tenacity’ of Philippine press, says NUJP
“The selection of Maria (Ressa as one of Time’s Person of the Year) is a recognition of the resistance and tenacity of the Philippine press in upholding truth and fighting for the freedom of the press and expression,” the National Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Reesa is an award-winning Philippine journalist who, along with the online news site Rappler, has been sued for tax evasion.
The online news site has been critical of the Duterte administration, and Ressa had claimed that the charges were politically motivated.
The NUJP noted that journalists face challenges such as internet trolls’ attempt to disseminate false information.
“Ironically, one of their weapons of choice – social media – was supposedly intended to democratize access to information but has been weaponized and turned into a battleground into which armies of trolls have been deployed in a massive attempt to drown out the truth with threats, insults and lies,” it said.
The organization stressed that the so-called media trolls could not stop press freedom; it would only strengthen public’s awareness on resisting false information.
“They have, however, failed miserably to silence the free press and independent journalists, and this failure has, in turn, helped encourage broader resistance among people to resist these efforts to twist the truth and shackle their minds,” it said.
The NUJP also hailed the other “guardians” recognized by Time, including slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed two months ago and was reportedly critical of the Saudi Arabian government. /ee
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