These award-winning media practitioners are taking up the fight for the truth

Media is influential and, when practised with integrity, can change the world for the better. The journalists, photographers and commentators on Asia’s Most Influential 2022 have taken up the fight for the truth, shining a light on the most pressing issues in the world, including the fall of Afghanistan, the invasion of Ukraine, the death of democracy and the disinformation spread on social media. They are never afraid to report on injustice or return to war zones because, for these award-winning media practitioners, their sworn duty is to present the undisguised reality.

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Marcus Yam, Malaysia

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Marcus Yam
Above Photojournalist Marcus Yam

Photojournalist Marcus Yam has been honoured with the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. The annual prize, which is given by Columbia University, recognised the Los Angeles Times correspondent and photographer for his work during the US departure from Afghanistan, lauding his images for their “raw and urgent” quality. His winning portfolio captures the collapse of the country: Taliban fighters storming into Hamid Karzai International Airport, journalists revealing wounds sustained from beatings, people chasing evacuation flights in hopes of leaving the chaos. 

Yam has shined a light on global events, from the coronavirus’s deadly effect in Tijuana in 2020 to the violent confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli troops along the Gaza border in 2018. In an interview with LA Times Today, he revealed why he covers stories in conflict-torn territories, saying that people need to see the reality of war. The photographer continues to remind the world about what is happening now, with his images accompanying the LA Times’ recent report on the state of girls’ education in Afghanistan.   

Read Marcus Yam’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential


Maria Ressa, Philippines

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maria ressa
Above Journalist Maria Ressa (Photo: Marc Nicdao)

Journalist Maria Ressa, founder of Philippine digital news organisation Rappler and the recipient of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize and the 2021 Unesco Press Freedom Award, has released her new book, How to Stand up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future. In the memoir she details the state of journalism and truth around the world: how “democracy dies by a thousand cuts” and how social media threatens freedom through disinformation.

Ressa, who is currently on a global book tour, explained her views about social media on CBS Mornings, pointing out how it manipulates our emotions to change the way we think. The long- and mid-term solutions for its effects, she added, are education and legislation. In a 2021 interview with Tatler, she also said, “[Journalism is] about impact in our world. It’s about making the world better. It is about leaving it better than when you came into it”.

Read Maria Ressa’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

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Sisy Chen, Taiwan

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Sissy Chen
Above Commentator Sissy Chen

Before launching a successful career in media, Sisy Chen was previously the director of the Cultural Propaganda Department of the Democratic Progressive Party, a spokesperson for the Democratic Progressive Party and a non-party legislator. Now, the popular TV commentator uses her platforms—the television program Sisy’s World News and its Facebook page (which has 1.1 M followers) and YouTube page (over 420 K followers)—to speak on the most pressing issues in Taiwan and beyond, from the Russia-Ukraine war to a declining global economy. 

“We’re in the era of digital and social media, which has both good and bad sides. People get more information than ever before, but do they act on it?” asked Chen in an essay penned for Tatler. “Each and every one of us is more knowledgeable and wields a certain level of influence. What we need to do now is to remember that we need to serve as a beacon of positivity, in order to create a world that is the kind of place we want to live in.”

Read Sisy Chen’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

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Tatler Asia's Most Influential is the definitive list of people shaping our world today. Asia's Most Influential brings together the region's most innovative changemakers, industry titans and thought leaders who are driving positive impact in Asia and beyond. View the full list here.


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