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Time on Tuesday revealed “The Guardians” for its 2018 person of the year, dedicating the magazine’s annual title to journalists around the world who have been targeted for their work. A series of four covers included Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist and prominent Saudi critic who in October was brutally murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The staff of the Capital Gazette, five of whom were killed in a mass shooting in their newsroom in June, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Ootwo, two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar, and Filipina journalist Maria Ressa were also named.
During an appearance on Today, editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal noted that it was the magazine’s first time selecting a person who was no longer alive for its person of the year. “It’s also very rare that a person’s influence grows so immensely in death,” Felsenthal said, referring to Khashoggi. “His murder has prompted a global reassessment of the Saudi crown prince and a really long overdue look at the devastating war in Yemen.”
“This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government,” Karl Vick, the author of the cover story, wrote. “Instead, it’s in retreat.”
Vick went on to note the chilling effects of President Donald Trump’s ongoing attacks on the media, along with his embrace of authoritarian leaders. “In normal times, the U.S. news media is so much a part of public life that, like air, it’s almost impossible to make it out. But it has been made conspicuous—by the attacks and routine falsehoods of the President, by social-media behemoths that distribute news but do not produce it and by the emerging reality of what’s at stake.”
“This is the first time we’ve chosen someone no longer alive as Person of the Year, but it’s also very rare that a person’s influence grows so immensely in death.” TIME Editor-in-Chief @efelsenthal talks Jamal Khashoggi’s 2018 Person of the Year cover pic.twitter.com/KTbgsK0AFt
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2018