Friday, November 6, 2020
On 5 November 2020 the fifth edition of Free Press Live – Stand up for Journalists and Justice took place in the form of a live webinar. The renowned journalist Maria Ressa was honored with the Free Press Award for Most Resilient Journalist. The Newcomer of the Year – Hans Verploeg Award was won by Romanian investigative journalist Bianca Albu.

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.”

Maria Ressa at Free Press Live 2020

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.

Award-winnaar Bianca Albu wordt verrast tijdens de live webinar van Free Press Live

Watch the full webinar here: