The Guardians

 
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For 92 years, the entire staff of Time Magazine elects a Person of the Year. This year the accolade goes to persons: all journalists who have been targeted because of their efforts to tell the truth.

Time Magazine calls them “The Guardians” and honors them for the great risks they've take to expose facts in an era where falsehoods have become as constant as air, some suffering the ultimate sacrifice.

The Guardians are:

  • Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered last October for openly criticizing Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman

  • The staff at Maryland’s Capital Gazette, USA, (pictured) who in June were victims of a mass shooting. Five were killed and two wounded by a disgruntled reader who stormed their workplace with a loaded shotgun;

  • Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw She Oo, who were sentenced in September to seven years in prison for exposing Myanmar's genocide of Rohingya Muslims; and

  • Maria Ressa, CEO of the news site Rappler, who has bravely criticized the notoriously authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

With the current US president joining other dictatorial regimes to suppress press freedom, a basic human right written into the US Constitution, this year's Persons of the Year pick sends a clear message. As Edward Felsenthal, Time Magazine Editor-in-Chief, states, ”the first move in the authoritarian playbook is the control of information and the suppression of people who try to get the facts out. And we saw that in a major way around the world” in 2018 when the manipulation and abuse of truth spread the world like a tidal wave.

The Guardians, and their myriad unknown colleagues across the globe, took enormous risks to speak the truth as well as speak up for truth and for freedom of expression. For this reason, we join Time Magazine in honoring them.

The first move in the authoritarian playbook is the control of information and the suppression of people who try to get the facts out. And we saw that in a major way around the world in 2018.
— Edward Felsenthal

Who’s your History Hero?

Who do you know who has risked, or is risking, their lives on behalf of the truth? Nominate him/her here!