“Democracy is fragile. You have to fight for every bit, every law, every safeguard, every institution, every story. You must know how dangerous it is to suffer even the tiniest cut. This is why I say to us all: we must hold the line.”
-Maria Ressa, episode 310 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
As we near the end of 2022, we sit with trailblazing journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa. We begin by unpacking the fragmenting effects of social media (5:08), how the Internet is giving power to authoritarian regimes around the globe (7:49), and Ressa’s past five years uncovering those operations (8:20). Then, we walk through her early years: moving from the Philippines to suburban New Jersey at age ten (13:08), three lessons from childhood (15:52), and the books that impacted her at Princeton (21:10).
On the back-half, we discuss Ressa’s serendipitous entry to the newsroom (30:18), why she founded Rappler in 2012 (33:12), and her critical reportage on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war (34:52), which led to her arrest by the Filipino government in 2019 (39:22). Now, she’s charted this fight in her new book, How to Stand Up to a Dictator (45:12). To close, we honor her continuous pursuit of the truth (48:03), her recognition as a 2021 Nobel Laureate (50:37), and the words of a lifelong friend (54:11).
- Order Maria Ressa’s new book, How to Stand Up to a Dictator.
- Learn about Rappler on their website.
- Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, Stacey Abrams, Jake Tapper, Sara Nelson, Congresswoman Cori Bush, and Winnie Byanyima.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz. Through the end of December, we’re donating 100% of the proceeds from these sales to the Audre Lorde Project.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi. Reference image by Rob Frogoso.
Subscribe, rate, and review: Apple Podcasts and Spotify.