Maria Ressa joins Meedan Board
I will never forget my first meeting with Maria Ressa. Within ten minutes she had opened her laptop and accessed a local database that contained, to my recollection, the most compellingly precise data I had ever seen on disinformation networks. It was December 2016 and we were sitting in a room at Google with a hundred other journalists and media researchers, all of whom were wondering what we should call fake news and how it had so swiftly descended on our amber waving internets like a plague of digital locusts.
I felt like I was looking at the mathematical proof that journalism and politics and society had a single intersecting threat model, and that I was meeting the first global journalist who had really done the detailed technical, investigative, and curatorial work to show the reach and impact of weaponized media — in the Philippines, in Tagalog, and in 2016.
Since then we have been fortunate to work with Maria’s team at Rappler on a set of initiatives in the Philippines, all the while marveling at her relentless optimism for the dual causes of journalism and her beloved Philippines. Maria goes about this work with remarkable mixture of a businessperson’s savvy, a journalist’s attention to the story, and a leader’s quiet and smiling confidence. In short, Maria is exactly the person a global NGO working on media integrity and collaborative verification software for a global set of users would want on its board of directors.
We are extremely honored and lucky to have Maria joining the other all-stars on the Meedan Board.