The most influential person/group of 2018, according to ‘TIME’ magazine, is officially ‘The Guardians,’ a group of journalists who went above and beyond this year. The mag announced its final decision on Dec. 11.
The 2018 TIME Person of the Year is…‘The Guardians’ — four people/groups of journalists who had an influence this year: Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist murdered in Saudi Arabia, workers at The Capital Gazette, who were targeted by a gunman earlier this year in an attack that left five dead, Maria Ressa, the editor of a Philippine news site that critically covered the country’s president’s controversial policies, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, reporters for Reuters who were arrested for investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims. “They are representative of a broader fight by countless others around the world — as of Dec. 10, at least 52 journalists have been murdered in 2018 — who risk their lives to tell the story of our time,” the mag’s editor-in-chief explained.
Being named TIME’s Person of the Year means the winner had the most influence within the last year, whether that influence be good or bad. Donald Trump was the Person of the Year runner-up, followed by Robert Mueller in third place, for his continued investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. TIME announced a short lit of 10 finalists on Dec. 10, which was then narrowed down the next day. The top ten list was rounded out by: the Separated Families (those torn apart at the border because of Trump’s immigration policies), Russian president Vladimir Putin, Ryan Coogler (the creator of Black Panther), Christine Blasey Ford (the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault and bravely testified against him), March For Our Lives Activists (students from Stoneman Douglas High School who began a nationwide protest after 17 were killed in a shooting at their school), South Korean president Moon Jae-In, and Meghan Markle (the new Duchess of Sussex after marrying Prince Harry).
In 2017, the TIME Person of the Year honor was given to the “Silence Breakers” — a group of men and women who had a profound impact on the #MeToo movement against sexual assault. The year before, Trump was given the honor, which was understandably a bit controversial. However, it’s important to note that the winner is chosen based on a person/group having influence for better OR for worse.
TIME first began choosing its Person of the Year back in 1927, and Charles Lindbergh was given the inaugural honor. The magazine also allows readers to vote for their Person of the Year via a “Reader’s Poll,” and this year, K-Pop group, BTS, topped the Reader’s Poll list.