Maria Ressa


Nobel Prize Conversations

“Real life is stranger than fiction right now”

Meet Maria Ressa in an energetic and lively conversation, conducted in July 2022, where she speaks about our current world situation and why, to her, it is sometimes stranger than that portrayed on film.

She also lets us in on why she chose her career path: “I became a journalist because I knew information is power” and tells us how she funded Rappler, an independent website for investigative journalism in the Philippines, together with a group of Filipino colleagues and journalists.

The call from Oslo, October 2021

Hear Maria Ressa’s reaction when she hears the news from Olav Njølstad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize just before the public announcement. “I’m speechless!”

Interview transcript

Maria Ressa: Hello

Olav Njølstad: Am I talking to Maria Ressa?

MR: You are, yes.

ON: I’m Olav Njølstad calling from the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, and I’m calling you on behalf of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. It’s a great pleasure for me, Maria, to inform you that at 11 o’clock local time here in Oslo, it will be announced that you are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 for your courageous fight for freedom of expression in the Philippines. You will be sharing the prize with another candidate, which I cannot disclose the name of right now, because I will need to call that person first.

MR: Oh my gosh.

ON: I will only congratulate you on behalf of the committee and we will come back to you later with more information. But I would be delighted to hear your immediate, spontaneous reaction to this news.

MR: I… I’m speechless. I’m actually live with another event, but my God, thank you. Oh my gosh, this is… I’m speechless. Thank you so very much.

ON: I’m glad to hear. And, and please, Maria, you must not tell others about this until 11 o’clock when the news is officially broken from here. Is that fine?

MR: Yes. Until 11 o’clock.

ON: Until 11 o’clock, great. Okay. I have to say goodbye now and make the other call.

MR: Thank you.

ON: Okay. Bye bye.

MR: Thank you so much.

ON: Bye bye.

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