Maria Ressa

Maria A. Ressa is a Filipino journalist, and author of Seeds of Terror, a book published by Free Press that contains blow-by-blow account of the hideouts of Al-Qaeda in Asia.

She served as the head of ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Department from 2004-2010. Before joining ABS-CBN, Ms. Ressa worked for Cable News Network (CNN) for nearly two decades, serving as Manila Bureau Chief from 1988–1995 and as Jakarta Bureau Chief from 1995-2005. She traveled extensively and reported from her base in Southeast Asia as well asIndiaPakistanChinaSouth KoreaJapanAustralia and the United States. As CNN’s lead investigative reporter in Asia, she specialized in investigating terrorist networks.Videotapes of her coverage of terrorism were found in what experts believe to be Osama bin Laden’s private videotape collection in Afghanistan.

Ms. Ressa graduated from Princeton University. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines in 1986, where she attended graduate school at the University of the Philippines. Among the awards she has received are the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Documentary, the National Headliner Award for Investigative Journalism, an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, the Asian Television Awards, TOWNS – Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service and TOYM. Ms Ressa taught broadcasting principles at the University of the Philippines, and at Princeton University, she designed and taught a course on Politics and the Press in Southeast Asia.

In an open letter dated October 11, 2010, Ressa noted that she will not renew her six-year contract with the said network, saying that “It’s time for me (her) to move on." [3] She is now an author-in-residence at The International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of Nanyang Technological University‘s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Ressa and ICPVTR aims to come up with a book "on the terrorism threats in Asia, their connections to the global jihad and how governments are responding to these evolving threats.” The book’s release is expected to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

In late 2010, Esquire magazine hailed Ressa as the Philippines’ sexiest woman alive, citing her fearlessness in writing an eyewitness account of Al Qaeda “despite her size." She has her own website and has contributed write-ups for and Wall Street Journal.


I’ve been in Manila for two days now and it’s been a great couple of days. :)

My school is attending this national summit called Write Tool. I’ll just give you a gist of what Write Tool is about: It is a training program for young journalists formed back in 2007 as the need for quality instruction intensified. Instead of training that was contest-centered, it was decided that it would be the type of training that focused on excellence and ethics. The Write Tool Program, Caravan, and National Summit aims to mold campus journalits’ values and skills while they are still young. There are talks, workshops, and assessment tests held throughout the summit. The speakers and lecturers include the country’s finest journalists.

Our school joined the Write Tool National Caravan - Davao Leg back in January and though I’ve been in campus journalism for a long time, I was shocked at how informative the whole event was. Usually, journalism trainings would prove to be redundant and bland but Write Tool gave fresh approaches to writing, helpful tips, and inspired me. The talks were more than just about technicalities, they stressed that we, writers, have a crucial role to our society. Since then, I promised myself that I would do my best to uphold that role and when I heard about the National Summit to be held in Manila, my schoolmates and I were ecstatic.

Today, February 23, was the first day of the summit. We started the day early, waking up at about 5 AM. We went to DLS-CSB and when we got there, we were told the School of Design and Arts was another building and we walked through Taft looking for it (Haha, tourists). When we got there, it was a beautiful site and my excitement grew. We heard about the program and I was just euphoric when we were told Maria Ressa and Charie Villa would be there. I’m a huge fan of their work. My mother is a news geek and she loves them both. She told me that I should take a picture with both of them as a souvenir to her. Moms. :)) Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect from them and the other well-known speakers, because I’d only ever seen them on the internet and on TV but I knew it was going to be awesome. And I was right. :)