Cannes Lions honours Maria Ressa as its 2024 Cannes LionHeart

Cannes Lions has announced Maria Ressa as the 2024 Cannes LionHeart recipient. One of the Festival’s most prestigious Awards, the accolade is given to a person who has harnessed their position to make a significant and positive difference to the world around us. Ressa is the Co-Founder and CEO of Rappler, the top digital-only news site leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines.

As Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has led their battle for truth and democracy, and has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail 10 times to stay free. Her most recent book, How to Stand Up to a Dictator, was released in November 2022 and has been translated into 20 languages, with more to come.

Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said: “We’re delighted to honour Maria Ressa with such an important accolade. This recognition underpins the relentless dedication to safeguarding freedom of expression, through her remarkable leadership of Rappler to combat the spread of misinformation. The LionHeart is awarded to those who are making a genuine difference to the world, and Maria has been instrumental in redefining investigative journalism. Her creativity and work is an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to honouring her at the Festival in June.”

On receiving the award, Maria Ressa commented: “We’re standing on the rubble of the world that was: where technology, violence and war challenge our humanity. The Cannes LionHeart reminds us that imagination and creativity, sparking empathy, are crucial to get us through these dark times; that power and money are not enough; and that inspiration ignites the good in each of us. Thank you for recognizing the work of Rappler, where we continue to fight against the odds to help create the world we want.”

Under Ressa’s leadership, Rappler has remained committed to journalistic integrity and credible storytelling, as she focuses critical attention on the breakdown of our global information ecosystem and how interconnected communities of action can hold the line to protect democratic values. For her courage and journalistic integrity, Maria has received numerous accolades, including in October 2021, being one of two journalists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”.

Ressa will take to the Debussy Stage during the day on Friday 21 June to deliver her keynote speech and exclusive interview, ahead of being presented The Cannes LionHeart Award during the final Awards Show of the Festival that evening. Further information on Cannes Lions, including speakers and how to attend, can be found at

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