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Slain Saudi Writer, Other Journalists Named Time's 'Person of the Year'


Candles, lit by activists, protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, are placed outside Saudi Arabia's consulate, in Istanbul, during a candlelight vigil, Oct. 25, 2018.

Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi is among a group of journalists who were named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" Tuesday.

The publication recognizes a person or a group of people who most influenced the news and world affairs over the past year "for better or for worse."

Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal announced on NBC's "Today" show the 2018 person of the year are the "guardians and the war on truth."

In addition to Khashoggi, the other "guardians" are the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five members were killed in a mass shooting at the newspaper's offices in June.

Also honored were Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, who was arrested on tax evasion charges, and Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been imprisoned in Myanmar for nearly a year.

Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler on Tuesday again called for their release.

"A year ago, Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested in a setup by police intended to interfere with the reporting on a massacre in Myanmar. The fact that they remain in prison for a crime they did not commit calls into question Myanmar's commitment to democracy, freedom of expression, and rule of law," Adler said.

The magazine cited Committee to Protect Journalists statistics, noting 262 reporters were imprisoned in 2017 and that the group expects the number to be high again this year.

Editor-at-Large Karl Vick wrote, "This ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward," but "Instead, it's in retreat."

While "old-school despots" favored censorship decades after the Cold War, Vick wrote, the modern despot "foments mistrust of credible fact" and "thrives on confusion loosed by social media."

Vick went on to say, "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."

On social media and at campaign rallies, President Donald Trump has regularly accused the media of being "the enemy of the people."