Winner Most Resilient Journalist Award: Maria Ressa
The jury chose Maria Ressa as the Most Resilient Journalist of 2020. The globally renowned Filipino journalist and CEO of Rappler has been an advocator for press freedom for years. Even now, when she has been victim of a politically motivated prosecution, and is facing up to six years in prison, Maria Ressa has remained a beacon of hope and optimism for journalism.
In a live connection Maria Ressa responded and spoke about her drive to continue her battle: “I get an average of 90 hate messages per hour, and have been detained by my government. But when they detain me, they unshackle me, because I am fighting for my rights. What we do as journalists is important, we can’t stop holding power to account. So we move forward one step at a time.”
Newcomer of the Year: Bianca Albu
The winner of the Newcomer of the Year – Hans Verploeg Award 2020 is Bianca Albu. This Romanian journalist uncovered links between a money laundering network belonging to the Spanish Royal family, a corrupt Romanian politician, and the local police, and showed great determination when she got confronted with political aggression in the first year of her career. Bianca received flowers and was congratulated by her editor in a live connection during Free Press Live. She receives a journalistic grant from Free Press Unlimited to develop herself professionally.