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Rappler's Maria Ressa Honored on Elite Bloomberg 50 List

She’s only the second Filipino to ever make it to the list.
IMAGE Fruhlein Econar
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Maria Ressa, founder of Rappler and advocate of press freedom, is on this year's Bloomberg 50. She's the second Filipino to be honored on the elite list.

The annual Bloomberg 50 recognizes the most influential leaders, icons, and innovators in the world per year. Last year’s list honored Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp., who became the first Filipino to land on the list.

Ressa has made international headlines for being a vocal critic of the current administration. She was found guilty of cyberlibel in June 2020, after businessman Wilfredo Keng sued Rappler for a story on his alleged involvement with illegal drugs, which he claims is false.

The ruling was criticized locally and internationally for political persecution and killing press freedom. In response to this, the Philippine government called on the media to respect the court’s decision.

Ressa now faces up to six years in prison with a hefty fine of P400,000. Despite the ruling, she continues to be recognized for her contributions to global journalism. Most recently, she was awarded the 2020 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award by the National Press Club of the U.S.A.

Before founding Rappler, Ressa headed the news division at ABS-CBN. Prior to that, she was an investigative reporter at CNN for over a decade. Ressa’s first job was a stint at state-run PTV 4. 

This year’s honorees of the Bloomberg 50 also include: Bong Joon-ho, director of Oscar-winning Parasite; Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix; Luis Lacalle Pou, president of Portugal; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Tsai Ing-Wen, president of Taiwan.

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