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‘A Thousand Cuts’ powerfully profiles Filipina journalist Maria Ressa

Ressa stands up constantly against the Philippines’ leader, Rodrigo Duterte.

“A Thousand Cuts,” a “Frontline” documentary that will air at 9 p.m. Friday, focuses on Maria Ressa, a Filipina journalist who shows more guts to do her job every day than I have ever had to show to do mine.

As the editor of Rappler, an online site based in the Philippines, Ressa stands up constantly against that country’s leader, Rodrigo Duterte, often called a dictator, but who nonetheless maintains enormous popularity.

Maybe it’s because I’m a journalist, but I found Ressa’s tale, as portrayed by “Frontline,” incredibly powerful and inspiring. I recommend its telling of her tale. I note that in 2018, Time magazine named four journalists jointly as their “person of the year,” for their courage in pursuing and reporting the truth, and Ressa is one of those.

She was recently convicted of “criminal cyber libel” and faces a prison sentence of up to six years. She is free while appealing the verdict and has now been charged with other infractions.

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“Frontline” doesn’t particularly focus on the legal cases, and portrays Duterte as a thug, but profiles Ressa as a journalist of unwavering courage, grace and determination.

It airs on PBS stations Friday night. It is 98 minutes long.