Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa has added another achievement to her long list of honors after delivering the prestigious Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) last November 16 (November 17, PH Time).
Ressa, who co-founded news network Rappler, discussed freedom of speech in her lecture, specifically in the Philippines, which was hosted by the university’s Institue of Politics.
“The Salant Lecture is about freedom of speech, but what happens if the world turns upside down and freedom of speech is used to stifle freedom of speech? That is really what is happening right now,” the prominent journalist said.
The hour-long presentation also focused on how disinformation is being weaponized to distort reality.
“One of the things we’ve learned is that when you say a lie a million times, it becomes a fact. People believe it. This is the age of social media,” Ressa said.
“In Mark Twain’s time, truth can catch up. And now, it literally changes our reality,” she added.
The 58-year-old also warned about the danger of disinformation and how it could affect the upcoming elections in the Philippines.
“You can’t have integrity of elections if you don’t have integrity of facts,” Ressa stressed.
The Salant Lecture on Freedom of the Press is delivered annually by a distinguished journalist, practitioner, or scholar.
In October, Ressa made history as the first Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
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