TIME’s Person of the Year recognizes the person or group of people who most influenced the news and the world – for better or worse – during the past year.
Murdered Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette newsroom and three other journalists were named as TIME magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year.
“Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments,” TIME’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in an essay about the selection. “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.”
“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,” Felsenthal wrote.
Khashoggi, a well-known critic of Saudi Arabia and columnist for the Washington Post, was killed shortly after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October to obtain marriage documents. His death, allegedly orchestrated by the highest levels of the Saudi government, caused an international outcry.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is widely suspected of ordering the assassination, and a CIA assessment determined the heir to the Saudi throne was in frequent communication with a close adviser believed to have overseen the operation on the day Khashoggi was killed.
Ressa is the editor of Rappler, an independent news website in the Philippines that has been highly critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Myanmar has accused Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of breaching the country’s official state secrets act while investigating atrocities with Rohingya refugees. Five members of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis were killed in June when a gunman blasted his way into their newsroom.
Of the four recipients, one is dead (Khashoggi), two are convicted (Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo), one is indicted (Ressa) and the other was attacked (Capital Gazette).
The award started in 1927 and the recipient is selected by TIME’s editors. This year marks the first year TIME has given the accolade to someone no longer alive.
CREDIT USA TODAY