This just in, ladies and gentlemen.
Breaking news! Here on the campus of Princeton University, spotted is Maria
Ressa, class of 1986, a renowned journalist. Here to appear on Between Two Tigers. [MUSIC] So Maria, what’s it like to be back on
Princeton’s campus? I love it. I mean, it’s gorgeous. It
always hits me every time I come back and walking around it makes me feel like
I wish I could go back to when I was a to when I was still on campus. Having
said that, it makes you feel like no matter how much things change some
things just stay the same and Princeton is that backbone. What was it like for you to be on the cover of TIME as one of the 2018 Persons of the Year? Shocking! You know TIME didn’t tell me that they were going to do this and I
found out on Twitter. So when I saw the first tweet go out, I actually thought it
wasn’t real. It could be positive or negative in the Philippines and moved us
to another stage. In the end it’s extremely positive because it acted as a
shield. So what happened when I saw the cover I was like “ah yuck” you know
you always … I hate seeing myself even though I did television for
however many years and then I saw the the art of the photographer and how he
captured. It was a surprise. It’s a very welcome surprise now. It is a shield of
safety. Maria, when we walked up to this spot this morning, between two tigers, we
passed the informal motto of Princeton University “In the nation’s service and the
service of humanity.” Can you talk a little bit about what service means to
you dating back to your time at Princeton and how you embody that now? I think it goes back to the why’s, right? Why do you do what you do? And in the end one of the things that you learn at Princeton is not just to stay on the
surface for the what’s but to dive into the mission why do you do what you do
which I think has been the lifelong question that I’ve always struggled with.
You shouldn’t be doing something if you don’t really understand why you do it. So
that motto is in a strange way has stayed with me because when you answer why all of the other small questions just it’s like dominoes, when you know
the why everything becomes easier. Besides Princeton, what is your favorite
thing to ever come out of the state of New Jersey? I’m from New Jersey! I mean I
grew up in Toms River! Maria, on your social media handle, on Twitter, you describe yourself as an idealist, a cynic a pragmatist, and a journalist. Can you unpack that a little bit for us? Wow! Thank you for asking. I mean I think, the idealist is because you work for the best that you can…the way you can
see the world, right? You work for a vision of the world.
You want to stay idealistic but yet if you’ve been a journalist as long as I
have there’s a part of you that’s cynical because everyone lies. I think
you know, you just get used to the ugliness of human nature, but you
maintain that we are, there’s this goodness that is always there and I’ve
seen that in every disaster area in every.. people are I believe inherently
good. Pragmatist is that in between. Because
you’re constantly having to make choices and these choices especially in news is
minute by minute, right? So all of those three things go into what being a good
journalist means for me. It’s kind of like the serenity prayer, Ronald Niebuhr’s serenity prayer. You have to figure out what things you can change
or things you can never change and accept it and the wisdom to know the
difference. It’s almost like an equation. I know that neither of us studied math in college, but it’s a one plus one plus one
equals journalist in a way. One more question. Orange and black featured
prominently throughout your academic and professional arc, why is that? You know you pointed out, orange and
black, right? I don’t know, I mean I’ll talk about Rappler. When we
first were looking at the colors, news at that point in time was really blue. Blue
because it’s cold and authoritative, right? But in the age of social media, you
don’t want to be cold and authoritative and in a country like the Philippines
where the median age is 23 years old, we wanted something to welcome the youth,
right, and orange if you look at what it what it stands for, what it means, it’s
actually youth and vibrancy. So we took orange and then you know, maybe it was
the subliminal thing of Princeton, I mean black just seemed to be the right color
to go with it and I’ll say Princeton has had a huge impact on the way I think and
what what I do when I’m confused. I think this idea that you can untangle every
problem, you just have to pull on the right string and you have to have the
the will to keep pulling, even if it’s uncomfortable, right? Even if it
challenges fundamental beliefs and then deal with what you find, right? That
kind of exploration, the clarity of thought to do that. That’s something
Princeton taught me and that’s a, that’s a foundation through my life. Thank you
so much. [MUSIC]

Randy Schultz

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  1. Nancy Ruba says:

    HI !! 😀 !!!

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