Time mag­a­zine honors GUARDIANS OF TRUTH

♦ Jour­nal­ists and a news­pa­per are Time’s Per­son of the Year.

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT - By David Bauder

Time mag­a­zine on Dec. 11 rec­og­nized jour­nal­ists, in­clud­ing the slain Saudi colum­nist Ja­mal Khashoggi, as its 2018 Per­son of the Year in what it said was an ef­fort to em­pha­size the im­por­tance of re­porters’ work in an in­creas­ingly hos­tile world.

The des­ig­na­tion wasn’t in­tended as a spe­cific mes­sage to the mag­a­zine’s run­ner-up choice, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who has de­nounced “fake news” and called some re­porters en­e­mies of the peo­ple, said Ben Gold­berger, ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor.

Time cited four fig­ures it called “the guardians.” Be­sides Khashoggi, they are the staff of the Cap­i­tal Gazette in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, where five peo­ple were shot to death in June; Philip­pine jour­nal­ist Maria Ressa; and Reuters re­porters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been jailed in Myan­mar for a year.

It’s the first time since the mag­a­zine be­gan the end-ofyear tra­di­tion in 1927 that Time has fea­tured a jour­nal­ist or rec­og­nized some­one posthu­mously.

Time said that 2018 has been marked by ma­nip­u­la­tion and abuse of in­for­ma­tion, along with ef­forts by gov­ern­ments to fo­ment mis­trust of the facts.

Gold­berger said the mag­a­zine hopes the choice re­minds peo­ple out­side of jour­nal­ism about the im­por­tance of the work.

Joel Si­mon, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists, said he sees this mes­sage al­ready start­ing to get through — sadly, in part be­cause of the at­ten­tion paid to Khashoggi’s killing. Khashoggi is one of at least 52 jour­nal­ists mur­dered so far this year, the com­mit­tee said.

“In some ways, I feel we’re at a turn­ing point,” Si­mon said.

Khashoggi was killed two months ago when The Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist, who had lived in the U.S., vis­ited Saudi Ara­bia’s con­sulate in Turkey for pa­per­work so he could get mar­ried. He had been crit­i­cal of the Saudi regime.

The Wash­ing­ton Post ap­plauded Time for its mes­sage of sup­port for jour­nal­ists.

“We hope this recog­ni­tion will prompt our na­tion’s lead­ers to stand up for Amer­ica’s val­ues and hold ac­count­able those who at­tempt to si­lence jour­nal­ists who cover our com­mu­ni­ties or in Ja­mal’s case, an op­pres­sive au­thor­i­tar­ian govern­ment,” said Fred Ryan, the Post’s pub­lisher and CEO.

Ressa, a for­mer CNN jour­nal­ist, co-founded the on­line site Rap­pler, which has ag­gres­sively cov­ered the govern­ment of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. She was re­cently charged with tax fraud, with many in the Philip­pines see­ing that as a reac- tion to Rap­pler’s re­port­ing. Duterte had ear­lier banned a Rap­pler jour­nal­ist from his news brief­ings, ac­cus­ing her of bi­ased re­port­ing.

“I think it means the Philip­pines is in a bat­tle for the life of our democ­racy and the peo­ple at the front lines of that are the jour­nal­ists,” Ressa said in an in­ter­view. “We are do­ing our jobs and our job is to hold power to ac­count. Our job is to tell our peo­ple when the govern­ment crosses the line.”

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were im­pris­oned in Myan­mar af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing a mas­sacre of Ro­hingya Mus­lims.

Sev­eral dozen jour­nal­ists and ac­tivists held a rally in Myan­mar’s main city, Yan­gon, on Dec. 12 mark­ing the an­niver­sary of their ar­rests and urg­ing their re­lease.

In a state­ment, Reuters said it hopes that Time mag­a­zine’s recog­ni­tion of the two re­porters will draw “con­tin­ued aware­ness to their un­just ar­rest and im­pris­on­ment in Myan­mar, and reaf­firm the es­sen­tial role of a free press around the world.”

Four jour­nal­ists and a sales as­sis­tant were killed by a gun­man at the Cap­i­tal Gazette news­pa­per last spring.

Time is pro­duc­ing four dif­fer­ent cov­ers fea­tur­ing “the guardians.”

Last year Time rec­og­nized peo­ple who came for­ward to re­port on sex­ual mis­con­duct. Trump, this year’s run­ner-up, was Per­son of the Year in 2016.

The third-place fin­isher this year was spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller.

/ Time Mag­a­zine via AP

Time mag­a­zine’s four cov­ers for the “Per­son of the Year.” The cov­ers show Ja­mal Khashoggi (clock­wise from top left); mem­bers of the Cap­i­tal Gazette news­pa­per of An­napo­lis, Md.; Maria Ressa; and Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.

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