Tasnim News Agency – Time on Tuesday named a group of journalists, including a slain Saudi Arabian writer and two Reuters reporters imprisoned by Myanmar’s government, as Person of the Year and warned the idea of truth as critical to democracy is under assault.
The publication also honored the founder of a Philippines news website critical of that country’s government and a Maryland newspaper that was the target of a mass shooting, the first time in the magazine’s 95-year history that Time has bestowed the distinction on its own profession, Reuters reported.
A cover story highlighted the role of journalists, including Reuters’ Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who Myanmar imprisoned for violating a state secrets act, and Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and critic of the nation’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who was slain two months ago inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
“I hope that this is received by the public at large far, far beyond the United States as a reminder of the importance of defending free expression and the pursuit of truth and facts,” Ben Goldberger, Time magazine’s assistant managing editor, said during an interview. “That is the baseline for all free societies. Democracy certainly cannot function without a shared understanding of the facts.”
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of bin Salman and a Washington Post columnist, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi Arabia initially claimed he had left the consulate alive, but weeks later admitted that he was killed inside the diplomatic mission and blamed his death on a group of Saudi operatives.
Turkish leadership said the order to slay Khashoggi had been issued from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government, suggesting that the crown prince had ordered such a gruesome crime. The CIA is said to have concluded that bin Salman had “probably ordered” the murder.