Maria Ressa named among Time Magazine's '100 Most Influential People' of 2019

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Rappler CEO Maria Ressa has been named among the world's 100 "Most Influential People" of 2019 by Time Magazine.

The veteran journalist joins singers Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, as well as former United States First Lady Michelle Obama, among others, in the "icons" category of the annual list.

Other prominent figures who were recognized by the American magazine include U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Malaysian Prime Minsiter Mahathir Mohamad under the "leaders" category; Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and NBA superstar Lebron James under the "titans" category; world's No. 1 women's tennis player Naomi Osaka under "pioneers" category; and wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson and K-pop group BTS under "artists" category.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her piece for the magazine's issue lauded Ressa, saying the embattled journalist "remains undaunted" despite Rappler's struggles under the administration. Albright cited the news website's battles against tax-evasion charges and Ressa's previous arrest over a "cyber libel" case.

Rappler, known for being critical of the Duterte administration, is facing various legal battles, including the indictment and arrest of Ressa for a cyber libel case filed against her, the firm and a former researcher. It also faces five tax evasion cases: four filed against Ressa and Rappler Holdings in the Court of Tax Appeals, and another at the Pasig Regional Trial Court. On March 29, the embattled veteran journalist was arrested again for allegedly violating the Anti-dummy Law. She is currently out on bail.

Meanwhile, Time Magazine Editor-in-Chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal said this year's list "is a community of hundreds of global leaders, many of whom support and challenge one another."

"At a time when so many of our problems require cross-disciplinary solutions, they are also uniquely positioned to effect change," Felsenthal wrote in his article explaining how the 100 personalities were chosen.

Ressa, along with other international journalists, was also named as Time Magazine's 2018 Person of the Year and dubbed as "guardians on the war on truth." The list included Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post contributor who was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October.