Time Person Of The Year Hails Journalists For Protecting Truth; Jamal Khashoggi Also Featured
Is Freedom of the Press being compromised?
TIME has kept up with its legacy of nominating the TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’, and this year is the most distinguished. Under a group name ‘The Guardians’, four journalists who have been targeted for their work, are now TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ for the year 2018.
From its commencement in 1927 till 2018, TIME magazine has chosen a unique personality to be the ‘Person of The Year’. These were the people that majorly influenced the world or events, both in a positive way or otherwise. Although not each choice was popular, TIME stuck to its opinion and has been putting forth people who changed the world for better or for worse.
The group, which includes Jamal Khashoggi, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, five members of the Capital Gazette staff, and Maria Ressa, are journalists that were targeted for depicting controversial yet true stories happening around them.
Jamal Khashoggi was initially a journalist of Saudi later moved to the US and worked as a columnist for Washington Post later. As a journalist, he covered major stories including the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
While in the beginning, he was close to the royal family of Saudi and also served as an advisor to the country, but soon due to a fallout, he moved to the US. His posts always criticized, rather put forth the true picture of the political conditions in Saudi.
This is the first time in the history of TIME that a person has been named ‘Person of the Year’ after his death.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are journalists of Reuters, citizens of Myanmar who were investigated and reported the truth behind the murders of 10 Rohingya. Reports say the journalists claimed that they were framed by the police who planted military documents on them.
When the case was dragged into the court, numerous witnesses and evidence were not enough to withhold the punishment wrongly imposed upon them: 7 years in prison.
Journalists of the Capital Gazette staff
An assassin with a gun and a grudge resulted in the murder of five journalists of the Capital Gazette staff. Apparently, the gunman had a long-standing grudge against the newspaper and had previously sued them for defamation.
What is worth appreciation is that even after the gruesome incident, the staff continued to work in the parking of the building and published a paper the next day with the obituaries of their deceased colleagues and a blank editorial with a note that said, ‘We are speechless.’
Maria Ressa is a 55-year-old journalist who started an online site, ‘The Rappler’. To a wide extent, ‘The Rappler’ has been criticizing the President of Phillippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa published articles about the drug wars, illegal killings by the President wherein about 12000 people succumbed.
In November, the Ressa and her site were accused of tax evasion with the license of the site being revoked; allegations that could send her to prison for about 10 years.
All these cases paint a clear picture about the condition of the freedom of the press and how it is being compromised.
According to TIME, these people have been selected ‘For taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts that are central to civil discourse, for speaking up and for speaking out, the Guardians—Jamal Khashoggi, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, Maria Ressa and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md.—are TIME’s Person of the Year.’