Kudos to TIME Magazine on recognizing Journalists

Four journalists and a newspaper publication win TIME Magazine's 'Person of the Year' award

Michael Negrete, Times Staff

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TIME Magazine awarded ​their prestigious ‘Person of the Year’ award in 2018 to four journalists who have all endured persecution and torment for their profession and their work in some form or another.

It’s about time that journalists start receiving the appropriate recognition for the services they provide to the public.

It’s unfortunate that it has taken the imprisonment and even the cold-blooded murders of journalists worldwide for them to get their much deserved recognition.

Jamal Khashoggi and five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland paid the ultimate price for their service to the public.

On June 28, 2018, a mass shooting took place at the Capital Gazette offices, claiming the lives of journalists Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

On October 2, 2018, Saudi-born journalist who was frequently critical of the Saudi Arabian government, was murdered by a hit-squad of individuals that many believe were put up to the task by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Also recipients of the award were Maria Ressa, who faces a 10-year prison sentence for her coverage of the heinous drug war of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years in prison in September for their coverage of Myanmar’s treatment of minorities.

Even with those examples of persecution of journalists worldwide, those are just a few examples of all the dangers that comes along with working in the field of journalism and everything that these brave and courageous individuals have to worry about simply to get to the truth.

I’m positive that there is so much more that journalists have had to deal with worldwide that we simply have not heard about.

An opposing view of TIME Magazine awarding journalists has been that the award was given in a self serving manner – journalists giving other journalists an award.

However, the question to ask at that point would be who will recognize journalism if not publications that truly understand how important and crucial honest reporting is to the public?

The next time you hear someone in power criticizing the press, remember that journalists, at least in this country, are not here to appeal to the powerful; but instead, they are here to serve as a watchdog for the public and hold public officials and those in power accountable.