Record wins Courage in Journalism award
The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland has named Marion County Record winner of its inaugural Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Local or Independent Journalism.
The award, named in honor of a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner and acclaimed champion of global press freedom, recognizes “courage displayed by small city newspapers, freelancers, or other journalists in the United States who have stood up to powerful forces despite not having many resources,” a release from the college states.
The Record will be honored “for its perseverance and continued coverage in the face of government overreach.”
The newspaper, the release goes on, “remained committed to its work after its offices and the home of its publisher were raided by police in August amid allegations of identity theft.”
Ressa, co-founder and chief executive of Rappler, the top digital-only news site fighting for press freedom in the Philippines, will be keynote speaker at ceremonies at which Record editor and publisher Eric Meyer also will speak March 13 on the university’s campus.
Ressa has endured constant political harassment and arrests and has been forced to post bail 10 times to stay free.
Also being honored will be ProPublica, receiving the Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Investigative Journalism for its reporting on ethical lapses of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, including luxury trips paid for by mega-donor Harlan Crow and other wealthy men.
The Daily Northwestern at Northwestern University will receive the Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Student Journalism for its detailed coverage of a systemic culture of hazing inside the Northwestern football program — coverage that affected change, including the firing of football coach Pat Fitzgerald.
The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich, detained in Russia since March 2023, also will be honored with a special citation.
“At a time when journalists and journalism are under threat from anti-democratic actors here and abroad, Maria Ressa stands as a beacon, an example of the kind of courage sometimes required to hold the most powerful in our society to account,” Dean Rafael Lorente said in a news release.