Time magazine reveals Khashoggi and other murdered or oppressed journalists as Person of the Year
Announced by the 'Today' show, the magazine also revealed four different magazine covers that feature Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and The Capital Gazette
The 'Today' show has announced that TIME's 'Person of the Year 2018' cover goes to a group of journalists whose work had put them behind bars, or even cost them their lives. The magazine's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal, wrote an essay about the selection saying: "Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments. This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment: Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and The Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md."
The magazine revealed its choice of 'The Guardians and the War on Truth' on December 11 on TODAY, along with four different magazine covers that feature Khashoggi, Ressa, the Gazette staff and the wives of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for Washington Post who was murdered for his criticism of the Saudi Crown Prince. Maria Ressa is the current editor of a Philippine news website renowned for its critical coverage of the country's president's violent policies. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are two Reuters journalists who were arrested in Myanmar for their investigation into the massacre of Rohingya Muslims.
The Capital Gazette is the paper which was targeted by a gunman who opened fire in the newsroom killing four journalists and a sales assistant.
“As we looked at the choices, it became clear that the manipulation and abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year’s major stories.” TIME Editor-in-Chief @efelsenthal explains the decision for choosing the Guardians as 2018 Person of the Year pic.twitter.com/SzBmb8R41x— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2018
TIME said that the four individuals and the lone newspaper are now symbols for something bigger than themselves. Felsenthal wrote in the essay: "They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world — as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018 — who risk all to tell the story of our time."
The magazine had announced the finalists for their 'Person of the Year 2018' with 10 people from around the world. The shortlist was released on December 10 and included Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle after she tied the knot with Prince Harry in May of this year. The former 'Suits' actress caught the media's attention when she wed into British royalty and is now due with the couple's first child. The new royal, however, has stiff competition for the cover.
The Daily Mail reported that President Donald Trump, who was on the cover in 2016 after his shock win in the presidential elections, was on the list again this year along with the man who threw a wrench into Trump's presidency, special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller's probe of the administration had garnered cooperation from many in the form of plea deals from several Trump aides, consultants, and advisors. Trump also said in 2017 that he was "offered" the cover again but declined it at the time. This is something that staff at TIME say never happened.
This year has also been crowded with political issues that have rocked various parts of the world and the list clearly reflects that. It's not always a good thing if a person is chosen for the cover. It only means that the said person, idea, or group has influenced the news in either a good way or a bad way.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was the second world leader to have made the list and this fits in with the fact that Trump and Mueller were on the same list. The Russian collusion probe is something that Mueller has been tirelessly working on, so this makes sense. Putin was last featured on the cover in 2007 for his leadership of Russia. His name in this year's shortlist, however, is most definitely due to his government's alleged interference with the 2016 US presidential elections.
The separated migrant families also found a spot on the shortlist after the US was slammed for the pictures of crying children being taken from their distressed parents. At the peak of the issue, there were reportedly more than 2,500 children who were removed from their parents after the families were caught illegally crossing the US-Mexico border. Trump's zero-tolerance policy was met with international outrage and even his own daughter, Ivanka, condemned the practice.
An executive order was signed in June which was supposed to have stopped the inhumane and cruel practice in order to reunite the families. Even though most children have been reunited with their parents, a recent report that was done, however, showed that the government still continued to separate children from their families beyond the stipulated deadline.
The high school survivors of the Parkland School shooting also made it onto the list with the massively lauded 'March For Our Lives' movement. The group fights endlessly for gun control after the students watched 17 of their classmates and teachers killed at their school on Valentine's Day this year.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was murdered in his country's consulate in Turkey, appeared on the list as the investigation into his death, and if it was orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, is still ongoing. President Trump has since been slammed for backing the Saudi government.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is a professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, was also on the list for the powerful speech she gave in the Senate against the not-yet-seated Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in a home when they were both teenagers in Maryland.
Ford's incredible speech about Kavanaugh, who insisted that all the allegations she made against him were false, lit the fires for a bigger discussion about women never going public with their assaults and the reasons why they stay silent. Her testimony gave birth to the hashtag "Why I didn't report" with other women coming forward and sharing their own reasons for staying quiet. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Other people who made it to the shortlist were South Koren President Moon Jae-in for successfully negotiating a historic summit with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un. This was the first time that the North Korean leader stepped into South Korea since the war ended between the two countries.
'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler was also shortlisted for the cover after the landmark success of the Marvel film which got the whole world saying, "Wakanda forever!". It was the first Marvel superhero film that had a predominantly black cast and was nominated for a Golden Globe just last week.