Time Magazine Selects Group of Persecuted Journalists as Person of the Year

'The Guardians and the war on truth'

Time selected journalists as its Person of the Year. Time

Time named a group of journalists it called “the guardians” from “the war on truth” as its Person of the Year. All of those named “have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment,” Time editor in chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.

For the first time, Time gave the honor to someone who has died, Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist who wrote for The Washington Post and was killed in October.

“Time Magazine’s choice to honor journalists who have lost their lives or the freedom to do their jobs is a powerful reminder of the critical role journalists play and the increasing dangers they face,” said Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan. “We applaud Time for using this coveted annual award to highlight their important work. 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.”

The stories of three others were highlighted on the covers, including convicted reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo who were arrested in Myanmar a year ago; indicted editor Maria Ressa, who started Philippine news site Rappler; as well as surviving members of the attacked newsroom, The Capital Gazette.

They were chosen, Felsenthal wrote “for taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts that are central to civil discourse, for speaking up and for speaking out…”

This is the first year Time has selected its Person of the Year under its new owners, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, and his wife, Lynne, who officially purchased the title from Meredith last month.

The Benioffs bought the magazine for $190 million in cash and said they won’t be involved in the day-to-day operations and Felsenthal stayed on as editor in chief.

Named to the publication’s short list for Person of the Year were President Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller, “The Activists” (including the students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla.,), president of South Korea Moon Jae-in, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler as well as Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.

As part of this year’s Person of the Year package, Time editors also revisited last year’s honorees, “the Silence Breakers.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.