Journalists cited as Time’s ‘Person of Year’

The Time Person of the Year award is one of those honors that a lot of people wait for. Given out since 1927 and called “Man of the Year” until 1999, the nod has gone to dictators and debutantes.

Soviet strongman Josef Stalin was man of the year twice, in 1939 and 1942.

Lyndon B. Johnson received the honor in 1964, three years after John F. Kennedy. Ayatollah Khomeini got it in 1979 while cable TV mogul Ted Turner was man of the year in 1991. Donald Trump got the nod in 2016.

So clearly, the people making these decisions are looking for difference makers, people who shook up the establishment, started new trends, went in different directions.

Such was the case with this year’s award recipient, announced in recent days. The Associated Press reported Time magazine recognized journalists, including the murdered 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.

It’s the first time since the magazine began the end-of-year 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, AP reported.

The Washington Post, which employed Khashoggi, 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.

So do we. No one ever got rich working in a community journalistic environment, whether television, radio, print or online. We do it because we care about the communities we live in. And above everything else, we believe in the power of truth and the ultimate good it can achieve.

We thank the decision makers at Time and look forward to brighter days ahead.


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