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March 13, 2024

Inaugural Maria Ressa Prizes for Courage in Journalism

4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Location: Riggs Alumni Center, Orem Ballroom

You're invited to the inaugural Maria Ressa Prizes for Courage in Journalism, a new annual celebration central to the Philip Merrill College of Journalism's press freedom mission. 

The awards honor Maria Ressa, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner and acclaimed champion of global press freedom, who will accept the inaugural prize and deliver a keynote speech at this event.

Also accepting Courage in Journalism awards and speaking on their honored work will be ProPublica, the Marion County Record and The Daily Northwestern. The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia since March 2023, will be honored with a special citation.

The program will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a reception following until 7 p.m. ET. The event is free of charge, but space is limited. Registration is required. 

Please reach out with any questions to journalism@umd.edu. We hope to see you there! 

More about the awards: 

  • The Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Journalism is awarded each year to the individual journalist or news organization anywhere in the world that exhibits journalistic courage in the face of serious threats from governments or other powerful forces. The inaugural winner is Maria Ressa. As co-founder and CEO of Rappler, the top digital-only news site leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines, Ressa has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail 10 times to stay free.
  • The Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Investigative Journalism will honor reporting by any news organization or individual reporter in the United States that showed uncommon courage, and required the journalists to stand up to powerful interests. The inaugural winner is ProPublica for its coverage of the ethical lapses of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, including luxury trips paid for by megadonor Harlan Crow and other wealthy men.
  • The Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Local or Independent Journalism will recognize courage displayed by small city newspapers, freelancers or other journalists in the United States who have stood up to powerful forces despite not having many resources. The inaugural winner is the Marion County Record for its perseverance and continued coverage in the face of government overreach. The Kansas newspaper remained committed to its work after its offices and the home of its publisher were raided by police in August amid allegations of identity theft.
  • The Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Student Journalism honors student journalists in high school or college in the United States who exhibited courage and fought for press freedom while standing up to powerful forces. The inaugural winner is The Daily Northwestern, which revealed details of a systemic hazing culture inside the Northwestern football program and affected change, including the firing of football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

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