Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018: The Guardians and the War on Truth


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Time magazine honors this year’s Person of the Year to a group of journalists whom they call “The Guardians”. This group was chosen “for taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quests for facts, for speaking up, and for speaking out”.

There are four covers of this year’s edition that portray each member of the group in black and white with what Time highlights as, “the War on truth”.

The group includes Jamal Khashoggi, a known Saudi journalist who was known for his criticism of the Saudi Arabian leadership. Jamal Khashoggi was killed last October at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.

Official statements say that he was killed on the orders of rogue intelligence officers, but many in the international community believe it was under the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, of whom he has criticized in the past.

The next cover features Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists who were arrested a year ago in Myanmar while working on stories about the killings of Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Even to this day, they are stripped of their freedom. Their wives represented them for the cover.

The third cover includes journalist Maria Ressa, chief executive officer of the online news site Rappler. They have been known for their open critic on President Rodrigo Duterte, and specifically towards his war on drugs.
On November 28, Maria Ressa and Rappler were accused of tax evasion where she may face 10 years in prison. She believes that this is simply a form of intimidation and harassment from President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

The last cover is dedicated to the Capital Gazette staff in Annapolis, Maryland, where on July 28 a gunman walked into their offices and killed five members of the staff.

Karl Vick, the author of Time’s “The Guardians” wrote, “this ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat.” And “the story of this assault on truth is, somewhat paradoxically, one of the hardest to tell”.


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