News organisation Rappler ordered to shut down by Philippines government

Maria Ressa

By Nathan Bomey, author of Axios Closer

30th June 2022 – (Honolulu) Nobel Peace Prize laureate and journalist Maria Ressa said Tuesday that the Philippine government has ordered her news organisation to shut down.

Ressa’s Rappler has exposed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “bloody war on drugs” and documented the government’s propagation of disinformation.

  • Ressa, a Filipino American, said in a keynote address at the East-West Center’s International Media Conference in Honolulu that the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission issued the decree Tuesday.
  • She said Rappler would fight the order, which “affirmed” an earlier decision to revoke the organization’s certificates of incorporation.
  • “We’re not shutting down. Well, I’m not supposed to say that,” Ressa said. “We are entitled to appeal this decision and will do so, especially since the proceedings were highly irregular.”
  • The Philippine embassy in the U.S. did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Ressa shared the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov after using her platform to raise awareness of Duterte’s alleged abuses.

  • She was previously convicted in the Philippines of “cyber libel” and could serve prison time in a case widely seen as politically motivated.

Ressa has been a vocal critic of social media platforms for failing to prevent the flow of falsehoods.

  • “Most people, they don’t realize they’re being manipulated, that these platforms are biased against facts,” Ressa previously told Axios Editor In Chief Sara Goo in an exclusive interview published Tuesday morning. “You don’t get facts. It’s toxic sludge. Social media encourages anger, hate, conspiracy theories. There’s violence,” and it’s getting worse, she added.