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‘The Guardians’ — Journalists Including Jamal Khashoggi — Named 2018 Time Person of the Year

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A group was named the Time Person of the Year for the second year running on Tuesday, with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal revealing the 2018 winners on Today.

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“The Guardians and the War on Truth” — journalists including Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland — were given the honor.

“We chose to highlight four individuals in one group who have taken great risks in pursuing the truth,” Felsenthal explained on Tuesday.

Accompanying the online article revealing the winners, a note explains, “For taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts, for speaking up and for speaking out, the Guardians— Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo—are TIME’s Person of the Year.”

Fesenthal expanded on the choice in an editor’s letter, saying, “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.”

The annual designation names figures who have impacted current events.

“The Guardians” bested President Donald Trump, who was among the 10 names or groups on the shortlist released just one day ahead of the formal announcement. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Trump was the 2018 runner-up, as Fesenthal explained, “There’s always a strong case for the president of the United States.”

His foe, special counsel Robert Mueller — who is investigating Trump’s presidential campaign — was the third runner-up.

Saudi Arabian journalist Khashoggi — a former Washington Post columnist — was murdered in Istanbul in October. A report released the next month revealed that the CIA has concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for ordering his murder.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are Reuters reporters that were arrested in Myanmar and charged with a rarely-used colonial law while investigating the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Ressa is the editor of Philippines online news site Rappler, and the Capital Gazette was the site of a mass shooting over the summer, during which five staffers were killed in the Annapolis newspaper’s newsroom.

 

Among the other shortlist members for the 2018 honor were Vladimir Putin, who was named Person of the Year in 2007; the March for Our Lives activists; Meghan Markle; Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault before he was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice; separated migrant families; Ryan Coogler, the director who helmed Black Panther; and Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president.

 

In 2017, Time‘s Person of the Year were the “silence breakers” — those who spoke out against sexual harassment and assault and launched the #MeToo movement. Among the more famous faces who covered the groundbreaking issue were Taylor Swift and Ashley Judd.

 

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