Reporters And Journalism 2018’s TIME Person Of The Year

I am deeply and thoroughly pleased with who made the cover for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.  There are four covers for  2018 Person of the Year.

 

Though I had predicted another cover with an eye to international events there is no doubt whatsoever that the men and women who report the news and make people worldwide more aware of how governments function, and issues of the day less complicated, merit top billing in this annual year end ritual.

“The Guardians and the War on Truth.”  is how the magazine headlines this edition.  The publication released four covers Tuesday recognizing slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot and killed in June; arrested Philippine journalist Maria Ressa; and two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar for nearly a year, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo.   As TIME notes they’re “representatives of a broader fight by countless others around the world.”

Many times I have written the truth about journalists being more vital to democracy than the military.  The banner to this blog uses a most telling quote from former CBS news reporter and anchor Walter Cronkite.  My bedrock values have always been linked to the men and women who search for the truth and report the news.

Over the past three years I have expressed much fear when it comes to how Donald Trump ramped up his diatribes against journalists during the campaign, and used the same language as tyrants from the pages of history when berating the press once in office.  My first concern was for the safety of reporters and journalists.  Second was the safety of our republic from Trump who has authoritarian aims.

Trump blasting the news media is nothing new, but it is most corrosive to our republic. At one point in a press conference Trump uttered the phrase “fake news” seven times.  But his labeling the media as the “enemy of the American people” as he has done in the past places Trump alongside tyrants throughout history that were fond of that phrase.   History buffs , like myself, remember that the phrase was used during the purges ordered by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.  The expression was also a favorite of China’s Mao Zedong, who used the “enemies of the people” label against anyone who opposed his policies.  Identifying and later punishing those enemies was central to Mao’s rule.

The cover story makes clear the issue at hand.  I know this magazine edition will be read around the globe and will be well received by all those who know the value of reporters and the need for truth.

This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat. Three decades after the Cold War defeat of a blunt and crude autocracy, a more clever brand takes nourishment from the murk that surrounds us. The old-school despot embraced censorship. The modern despot, finding that more difficult, foments mistrust of credible fact, thrives on the confusion loosed by social media and fashions the illusion of legitimacy from supplicants.

Modern misinformation, says David Patrikarakos, author of the book War in 140 Characters, titled after the original maximum length of a Twitter post, “does not function like traditional propaganda. It tries to muddy the waters. It tries to sow as much confusion and as much misinformation as possible, so that when people see the truth, they find it harder to recognize.”

The story of this assault on truth is, somewhat paradoxically, one of the hardest to tell. “We all learned in our schools that journalists shouldn’t be the story ourselves, but this is, again, not our choice,” says Can Dündar, who, after being charged with revealing state secrets and nearly assassinated as a newspaper editor in Turkey, fled to Germany, where he set up a news site. “This is the world of the strong leaders who hate the free press and truth.”

That world is led, in some ways, by a U.S. President whose embrace of despots and attacks on the press has set a troubling tone. “I think the biggest problem that we face right now is that the beacon of democracy, the one that stood up for both human rights and press freedom—the United States—now is very confused,” says Ressa, the Rappler editor. “What are the values of the United States?”

Prediction: 2018 Time Person Of The Year

There are always several top contenders around the world to earn the title of Time magazine’s Person of the Year.  But it would appear from any objective view of the international arena this year one name, more than any other, deserves such a ranking.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Long before the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, there was every reason to place the Crown Prince on the magazine cover for the final year’s edition.  The always-intriguing turf battles within the ruling Saudi family, the struggle for the heart and soul of Islam, the geo-political fight with Iran, the proxy wars and alliances through-out the region has long placed Salman at the center of the news world.

The Crown Prince had allowed many–including this blogger–to see hopeful signs that modernity could take place over time within Saudi Arabia.  With that view also came the real possibility of modernity of the harsh brand of Islam which dominates the kingdom.  Wahhabism has been a most detrimental force in the region, and its export has made for terrorism around the globe.  The towering figure of Salman might have brought many changes over decades of his ruling.  Much of that is now in doubt.

What happens following the heinous murder of Khashoggi makes for another chapter yet to be written in the kingdom. The central role that Saudi Arabia plays in international relations creates many hurdles, as nations based on law and order must now seek a path forward that does not undermine their basic concepts, while at the same time grasping the need for realpolitik.

Which all leads to the most important, exasperating, mysterious, and newsworthy person of the year.

Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

 

 

Pope Francis Is 2013 TIME Person Of The Year

This will be a fascinating issue to read.  I could read it on online, but will wait for my copy to land in the mailbox.

I have never heard so many non-Catholics excited over any pope as they are with Pope Francis.  He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.

In announcing Pope Francis as TIME Person of the Year earlier Wednesday, TIME managing editor Nancy Gibbs wrote that Francis got the nod “for pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy.”

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Prediction For 2013 Time’s Person Of The Year

Every year by this time, and usually months before the end of the year arrives, I have made a prediction concerning the person who will grace Time magazines Person Of The Year.

This year I really could not come to a conclusion about a prediction.  Many people vied for attention, but no one passed far and above others in my mind.

As such I am thinking this year it might be a ‘thing’ that makes the famed cover.  If that is the case perhaps it will be ‘privacy’, given the international angst caused by the NSA.   Still, I am not going to commit to a prediction this year as I am not feeling it in my gut.

So like everyone else I will wait–like I have done for the past decades.  I do really love this yearly edition!

 

 

President Obama Named 2012 Time Person Of The Year

Time Magazine announced their 2012 Person Of The Year.

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While I had predicted another person might fill that role, I am of course pleased that our re-elected President has again captured the cover this year after an amazing election campaign.  I noted when making my prediction “It might seem that President Obama would be the logical choice for this honor, due to the fact he won re-election in a most highly frayed and partisan electorate.  His political feat is the stuff for magazine covers.”  But I predicted another person.

My copy of the magazine arrives in the mail, and so I have not yet seen it.  But this one paragraph online caught my eye, and alerts me that this edition will be a good read.

In mid-December, as Obama settles into one of the Oval Office’s reupholstered chairs — brown leather instead of Bush’s blue and gold candy stripes — the validation of Election Day still hovers around him, suggesting that his second four years in office may turn out to be quite different from his first. Beyond the Oval Office, overwhelming challenges remain: deadlocked fiscal-cliff talks; a Federal Reserve that predicts years of high unemployment; and more unrest in places like Athens, Cairo and Damascus. But the President seems unbound and gives inklings of an ambition he has kept in check ever since he arrived at the White House to find a nation in crisis. He leans back, tea at his side, legs crossed, to explain what he thinks just happened. “It was easy to think that maybe 2008 was the anomaly,” he says. “And I think 2012 was an indication that, no, this is not an anomaly. We’ve gone through a very difficult time. The American people have rightly been frustrated at the pace of change, and the economy is still struggling, and this President we elected is imperfect. And yet despite all that, this is who we want to be.” He smiles. “That’s a good thing.”

Prediction For 2012 Time Person Of The Year–Not Who You Might Think

It is that time again to weigh in on the person who I think will grace the cover of the final edition of Time for this year.   Who will be the Person Of The Year?

It might seem that President Obama would be the logical choice for this honor, due to the fact he won re-election in a most highly frayed and partisan electorate.  His political feat is the stuff for magazine covers.

But I predict another face will dominate the cover.

There has been a major change in the world over the past couple of years as people work to reclaim their political future.  From Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Afghanistan there has been a new and powerful energy shown to the world about what principle, hope, faith, and conviction represents.  The dynamics that are emerging and aligning themselves into political operations and governments is most amazing to watch.

People are no longer interested in being dominated by a despot, they want a seat at the table of government.  No longer are the old and outdated cultural barriers the standard by which new generations wish to abide.  Those who bastardize Islam for political purposes and foul deeds are finding growing resistance.

None has made that point more clear than that of a young Afghan.

Therefore, I predict that Malala Yousufzai will be Time’s 2012 Person Of The Year.  She was shot by Taliban gunmen for advocating girls’ education.   I predict the magazine will use her story to tell the larger one that is moving many nations into a new direction.

Prediction For Time Magazine’s ‘Person Of The Year’ 2010

I know that it is not yet even November, but I think a prediction can be made for Time magazines always anticipated final edition of the year.  The edition where the person, or thing, that most altered the course of events gets full coverage as ‘Person Of The Year’.

America is seen by many as a nation adrift.  In reality, America is coming to terms with international forces that will change the playing field of power politics in the next couple of decades.  Manufaturing jobs in some areas are never going to return, demograhics are moving the nation away from a percieved Norman Rockwell image, and advanced technology is leaving many behind in this fast-paced society.

The driving force all year-long in America has been outrage and out-bursts. 

My prediction for ‘Person Of The Year’ is…….

not a person…..

but an emotion.

Anger.  More specifically, political anger at an evolving America, and the fear that creates, and those that play on it.