With a record number of reporters behind bars around the planet — the Committee to Protect Journalists documented 262 cases in 2017 — an avalanche of misinformation on social media and government officials from the United States to the Philippines dismissing critical, real reporting as “fake news,” Time is spotlighting a handful of journalists who have one thing in common: They were targeted for their work.
For them, pursuing the truth has meant prison and harassment. In some cases, it has meant death.
Time has selected “The Guardians” — a group of imprisoned and killed journalists — as the magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2018.
Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October, will appear on one of four Time “Person of the Year” covers. Last month, the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing, contradicting claims from Saudi officials that the young ruler was not involved in the journalist’s death, according to The Washington Post.
Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years in prison in September for reporting on the military-backed killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, are also recipients of the prize. Further, The Capital Gazette, the Maryland newspaper where four reporters and a sales associate were killed in a July mass shooting, was also bestowed the annual award.
Lastly, Maria Ressa, CEO of the online Philippines-based news website Rappler, will share the honor. The journalist and businesswoman has been the target of an ongoing “campaign of legal harassment” from the Philippines Justice Department for its critical coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte.