Time Person of the Year 2018: Jamal Khashoggi and other journalists win magazine’s annual award

Collective of journalists, embodied by murdered Washington Post reporter, honoured for their sacrifices in 'war on truth'

Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 11 December 2018 13:45
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CCTV footage shows Jamal Khashoggi entering Saudi embassy in Istanbul

“The Guardians” have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2018.

The collective of journalists, the most well known of which is the murdered Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, will grace the covers of Time magazine’s next issue after the publication’s editors decided they had come to represent 2018 more than any other individual or group for the sacrifices they made in the “war on truth”.

“This year we are recognising four journalists and one news organisation 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, Maryland,” editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal explained in his latest editorial.

Mr Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October after apparently being tortured. The correspondent had been a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Maria Ressa is the editor of a Philippine news website known for its critical coverage of government violence. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are two Reuters reporters who were arrested in Myanmar for their part in investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims, while The Capital Gazette is the newspaper targeted by a gunman who killed four journalists and a sales assistant when he opened fire in its newsroom.

Four different covers will hit newsstands representing the four parties.

“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,” Mr Felsenthal elaborated on Today on NBC.

Donald Trump was the magazine’s second choice, he said, with FBI special counsel Robert Mueller third.

The magazine has carried out the tradition since 1927 and last year another group was chosen: those who came forward to report sexual harassment in the workplace as part of the #MeToo movement in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Time paid tribute to the silence breakers, “for giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable”.

In 2016, Mr Trump, then the president-elect, was named “for reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s”.

Prior to that, the list of previous winners is as follows:

  • 2015 – Angela Merkel
  • 2014 – Ebola fighters
  • 2013 – Pope Francis
  • 2012 – Barack Obama
  • 2011 – The protester (demonstrators from the Arab Spring, Occupy and Tea Party movements)
  • 2010 – Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2009 – Ben Bernanke
  • 2008 – Barack Obama
  • 2007 – Vladimir Putin
  • 2006 – You (the individual online content creator)
  • 2005 – The good samaritans (wealthy philanthropists)
  • 2004 – George W Bush
  • 2003 – The American soldier (especially fighting in the War on Terror)
  • 2002 – The whistleblower (informants from Enron, WorldCom and the FBI)
  • 2001 – Rudy Giuliani
  • 2000 – George W Bush
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