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Watch Maria Ressa's Address for PEN Australia's Day of the Imprisoned Writer event

 

PEN Centres around Australia partnered with the Wheeler Centre to present investigative journalist Maria Ressa as keynote speaker for the 2020 Day of the Imprisoned Writer event.

The premier virtual event, Maria Ressa: Freedom and Fakery in the Philippines Today, featured Ressa in conversation with Fatima Measham to discuss technology’s impact on democracy and the implications of her own case for freedom of speech today.

Watch it now 

 

The event was presented in partnership with PEN Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the Wheeler Centre and was supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

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Maria Ressa is a veteran investigative journalist and the CEO of the influential Philippine news portal Rappler. In June this year, she and a colleague were found guilty of cyber libel, in a dubious court decision that many believe was politically motivated. Ressa has been a dogged and long-time critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, and of his supporters. The relationship between Ressa, as a journalist, and Duterte, as a political figure, dates back to the 1980s. After Duterte’s election in 2016, Rappler ran a series of stories about his active online 'troll army' and the fake news stories they were circulating, and earned the ire of the Duterte administration. 


Fatima Measham is a writer and speaker based in Wadawurrung country. She was formerly a consulting editor, columnist and podcast producer for Eureka Street, where she focused on issues of social justice, identity and politics. Her work has appeared in Meanjin, the Guardian, America magazine and other publications. She grew up on the traditional land of the Higaonon in the Philippine south.

The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an annual, international day intended to recognise and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information. This day is observed each year on November 15. It was started in 1981 by PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee.

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