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.
Seeing my name/words recounting the murderous attack on our #CapitalGazette newsroom, among artifacts in a @Newseum display, brought a flood of emotions. I work with great people, the 5 we lost that day will be missed forever. We're not "Enemies of the people." We are the people. pic.twitter.com/JttfHHRTnN— Paul W Gillespie (@pwgphoto) December 10, 2018
"Someone wanted to silence us. We will not be silenced." https://t.co/g0fxfWYkxE— Talia Richman (@TaliRichman) December 11, 2018
The brave and dedicated Capital Gazette staff is recognized by TIME for continuing their work after Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith and John McNamara were killed. pic.twitter.com/dxR2zimMS0
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.”