Camden Conference: Maria Ressa and Lydia Cacho Ribeiro
Thursday, March 5 at 2:00 pm
Speaking in Maine takes us back to the recent Camden Conference focusing on The Media Revolution: Changing The World. We hear from Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler.com, an online news organization in the Philippines, on Fighting Back With Data. Following that, we hear from Mexican investigative journalist Lydia Cacho Ribeiro, a Goodwill ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, who speaks on Journalism That Tells The Truths- A Task For The Brave.
Maria Ressa: Fighting Back with Data
Maria Ressa is the CEO and Executive Editor, as well as one of the founders of the 6-year-old company Rappler.com, that is one of the leading online news organizations in the Philippines.
Maria has been honored around the world for her courageous and bold work in fighting disinformation, “fake news” and attempts to silence the free press. In 2018, she was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” and won the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-INFRA), the Knight International Journalism Award of the International Center for Journalists, the Gwen Jfill Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Journalist of Courage and Impact Award of East-West Center, and the IX International Press Freedom Award of University of Málaga and UNESCO, among others. Maria was also listed as on the Time 100 most influential People in 2019.
She has been a journalist in Asia for more than 30 years. She was CNN’s bureau chief in Manila then Jakarta on terrorism in Southeast Asia. She authored two books – Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook.
In 1987, Maria co-founded independent production company, Probe. In 2005, she managed ABS-CBN News and Current affairs, the largest multi-platform news operation in the Philippines. Her work aimed to redefine journalism by combining traditional broadcast, new media and mobile phone technology for social change.
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro: Journalism That Tells the Truth – A Task for the Brave
Lydia Cacho Ribeiro is a journalist, writer, social activist, human rights advocate and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Agency against Drugs and Crime. Described by Amnesty International as “perhaps Mexico’s most famous investigative journalist and women’s rights advocate”, Cacho’s reporting focuses on violence against and sexual abuse of women and children.
Her brave journalistic investigations have taken her to 132 countries and made her the most awarded journalist in Mexico with 55 international awards.
Born in Mexico City, Cacho settled in Cancún, Mexico in 1985, where she began working at the newspaper Novedades de Cancún. She has published hundreds of articles, a book of poetry, a novel, several books of essays on human rights and other nonfiction works. She speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese and English.
A fearless and courageous defender of the rights of women and children in Mexico, Cacho routinely risks her life to shelter women from abuse and challenge powerful government and business leaders who profit from child prostitution and pornography. Cacho founded Ciam Cancún, a shelter for battered women and children, providing refuge for countless individuals.
Her writings have resulted in shining the spotlight on issues that are normally not challenged. In her 2005 book, Los Demonios del Edén (Demons of Eden), Cacho accused a prominent businessman of protecting a child pornographer, which resulted in her illegal arrest. While in jail she was beaten and abused. She became the first woman to bring a case to the Mexican Supreme Court; the court ruled that the content of her book was truthful.
Cacho’s books also include Mujer Delfin [Dolphin Woman], a poetry book published in 1997, and Muerdele El Corazon [Bite the Heart], a novel published in 2005 about a woman who is HIV positive. Three of her Best Sellers works have become university textbooks in several Latin American countries. Her books have been translated into more than fifteen languages.
Confronted with countless credible threats against her life, Cacho has refused offers of asylum from the United States, France and Spain. She will not leave her country and abandon the women and children she has dedicated her life to protecting. An April 2007 Washington Post article described Cacho as “one of Mexico’s most celebrated and imperiled journalists.” The article went on to explain that she “is a target in a country where at least seventeen journalists have been killed in the past five years and that trailed only Iraq in media deaths during 2006.
Cacho has received many awards for her work as a humanitarian and a journalist, including the State Journalists Prize, the Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for Women and Children’s Rights, and the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Freedom of Expression Award. In her acceptance speech for the Courage in Journalism Award Cacho said: “Journalists are their mirrors to the world, so that the world can see them and hear their stories. And that is why I cannot be silenced.”
Music by Our Alarm Clock