The Chatter

Capital Gazette Staff Among Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Honorees

Both the dead and the survivors are honored as “The Guardians” fighting the “War on Truth.”

This year, like every year, there was rampant speculation about the unveiling of Time magazine’s Person of the Year. Will it be Donald Trump? Robert Mueller? Dr. Christine Blasey Ford? Instead, in a surprising and moving gesture—a clear repudiation of Trump’s war on the press—the magazine chose “The Guardians of the Truth.”

Among them were slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; Filipino journalist Maria Resser, whose online new site Rappler exposes human rights violations in her country; and two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were framed and falsely imprisoned in Myanmar.

But locally, the inclusion of the staff of the Capital Gazette stirred powerful memories and emotions. The picture of the surviving staff and family is inspiring. In black and white they stand, unsmiling, arms locked, resolute. Andrea Chamblee, wife of the late John McNamara wears a T-shirt that reads “Journalism Matters.” Reporter Katherine’s shirt is emblazoned with the now famous words of her colleague Chase Cook: “I can tell you this. We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”

The article includes a video where reporter Selene San Felice says, “Someone wanted to silence us. We will not be silenced.” On Twitter, reaction was swift and emotional.

This Time magazine interview, which took place on December 9 in Washington, D.C., was the first sit-down interview that Capital editor Rick Hutzell agreed to do since the June 28 shooting. “I’m here today because members of my staff wanted to come down and participate,” he explained to Time. “Journalists have never been held in high regard—nobody like Thomas Paine. I think at this moment in history, where words of violence are so easy to throw out there, it’s a little scarier.”