Exclusive DW interview with Nobel-winning journalist Maria Ressa | DW News Asia

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DW News published this video item, entitled “Exclusive DW interview with Nobel-winning journalist Maria Ressa | DW News Asia” – below is their description.

In an interview with DW, Maria Ressa spoke about the situation in her home country as well as in other places around the world.

“Facts, are at the core of any democracy,” Ressa told DW’s Biresh Banerjee, adding that “freedom of speech, freedom of expression is about being able to say what you think without fear of retribution.”

A critic of Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, Ressa has repeatedly faced intimidation. When asked about her government’s reaction to the award, specifically presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s claim that the award was not a slap in the face to the Duterte administration because no one has ever been censored in the Philippines, she responded with a laugh.

“Let me put it this way. You know, the largest broadcaster in the Philippines is off the air and the last time that happened was when martial law was declared in 1972. You’ve had at least 19 journalists killed under this administration. You have a journalist who’s 23-years-old languishing in prison for more than a year. And you know, of course, I’ve had 10 arrest warrants in less than two years. So sometimes all you have to do is smile.”

She warned that the greatest threat to democracy at the moment is the fact that tech companies have usurped the traditional gatekeeper role afforded previously to journalists but bemoaned that they are not being held to the same rules.

“I think that the rollback of democracy globally and the tearing apart of shared reality has been because of tech. It’s because news organizations lost our gatekeeping powers to technology — and technology took the revenues that we used to have along with. They took the powers, but they abdicated responsibility.”

Ressa pointed to a two-fold problem with tech and facts, first noting that “popularity easily turns into mob rule but in the age of social media, you can’t quite tell whether it’s real or manufactured.”

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