Rappler founder and CEO Maria Ressa was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2019.
Ressa joins notable international personalities like U.S. President Donald Trump, former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and musicians Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
According to Time magazine Editor-in-Chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal, this year’s list “is a community of hundreds of global leaders, many of whom support and challenge one another.”
“At a time when so many of our problems require cross-disciplinary solutions, they are also uniquely positioned to effect change,” he said.
Ressa was lauded for remaining undaunted despite Rappler’s struggles under the government, citing her commitment to “exposing corruption, documenting abuse and combating misinformation.”
“Maria’s Manila-based news site, Rappler, has already been indicted by President Duterte’s government on questionable tax evasion charges, and Maria was arrested and briefly imprisoned earlier this year for allegedly violating dubious ‘cyber-libel’ law. But Maria remains undaunted,” wrote former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her piece for the magazine.
Ressa, named “Time Person of the Year” in 2018 along with several other journalists, is a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. She is currently facing several legal battles, including a cyberlibel case and five tax evasion cases.