NEW YORK, New York – A group of journalists whose work has landed them in jail, or cost them their lives, have been named TIME’s Person of the Year for 2018.
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The stout man with the gray goatee and the gentle demeanor dared to disagree with his country’s government. He told the world the #truth about its brutality toward those who would speak out. And he was murdered for it. Every detail of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing made it a sensation: the time stamp on the surveillance video that captured the #Saudi journalist entering his country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2; the taxiway images of the private jets bearing his assassins; the bone saw; the reports of his final words, “I can’t breathe,” recorded on audio as the life was choked from him. But the crime would not have remained atop the world #news for two months if not for the epic themes that #Khashoggi himself was ever alert to, and spent his life placing before the public. His death laid bare the true nature of a smiling prince, the utter absence of morality in the Saudi-U.S. alliance and—in the cascade of news feeds and alerts, posts and shares and links—the centrality of the question Khashoggi was killed over: Whom do you trust to tell the story? Jamal Khashoggi is one of the Guardians, TIME's Person of the Year 2018. #TIMEPOY Read the full story at TIME.com/POY2018. Photograph by @moisessaman—@magnumphotos for TIME (Photograph of Khashoggi: Alamy)
“This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment: Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in an essay about the selection.
The magazine revealed its choice of “The Guardians and the War on Truth” on Tuesday on TODAY, along with the four magazine covers. The covers feature Khashoggi, Ressa, the Gazette staff and the wives of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.
The title is given to the person or idea that had the biggest impact on the news within the past year.
TIME has made the designation every year since 1927. Last year, the magazine’s editors selected The Silence Breakers, the individuals who spoke up and sparked a national reckoning over the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.
The year before that, 2016, was Donald Trump.