Maria Ressa, an international journalist and Toms River North graduate, has been named a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

She won the award along with fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov. According to the Nobel Prize Committee, the two were singled out "for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."

The committee’s statement went on to say, “Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time.”

Ressa, Class of '82, is an internationally renowned journalist and co-founder of the website Rappler.com, an online news site based in the Philippines. She also attended Princeton University.

According to Jersey Shore Online, she was class president for three years at TR North as well as being voted “most likely to succeed.”

According to the Rappler website, Ressa has been reporting on Southeast Asia for over 35 years and she was named Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time’s Most Influential Women of the Century. And now a Nobel prize.

She has been a vocal critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and has been arrested and tried for her investigative work. She was found guilty of cyber libel in 2020.

Ressa was born in the Philippines but moved to Toms River with her family when she was 10. According to the Asbury Park Press, she attended Silver Bay Elementary School before attending Toms River North.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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