Time Person of the Year 2018

CLP Current Event: January 8, 2019

TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year is killed and imprisoned journalists, “The Guardians,” as the magazine is calling them, include slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting. Learn more about all of them in this week’s CLP Current Event.

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

News Sources

TIME Person of the Year 2018, by Karl Vick, TIME, December 31, 2018
“Efforts to undermine factual truth, and those who honestly seek it out, call into doubt the functioning of democracy. Freedom of speech, after all, was purposefully placed first in the Bill of Rights.
In 2018, journalists took note of what people said, and of what people did. When those two things differed, they took note of that too. The year brought no great change in what they do or how they do it. What changed was how much it matters.”

Danger to journalists is growing worldwide, press freedom group says, by Laura King, Los Angeles Times, December 18, 2018
“The group said at least 63 professional journalists were killed around the world in 2018, a 15% increase from the previous year. That tally increases to 80 when it includes media workers and citizen journalists, according to an annual compilation that the Paris-based nonprofit organization has put together every year since 1995.”

Four Journalists and a Newspaper Are TIME’s Person of the Year, by David Bauder, U.S. News, December 12, 2018
“’We hope this recognition will prompt our nation’s leaders to stand up for America’s values and hold accountable those who attempt to silence journalists who cover our communities or in Jamal’s case, an oppressive authoritarian government,’ said Fred Ryan, the Post’s publisher and CEO.”

Who Will Be TIME’s Person of the Year for 2018? See the Shortlist, by Suyin Haynes, TIME, December 10, 2018
“In recent years, the shortlist for Person of the Year has included the Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement, Hillary Clinton, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Black Lives Matter activists, CRISPR scientists and Beyoncé.”

Questions to Consider

  • Why did TIME magazine call their Persons of the Year “The Guardians”?
  • What does the War on Truth mean? Why does the truth matter?
  • How do journalists inform? How do journalists speak truth?
  • What are the Guardians guarding?
  • Does the Press need to be guardians of democracy? Why?
  • Why are journalists in danger? How might we protect them?
  • How do journalists protect us?
  • What protections are in place for journalists who report in dangerous situations?
  • How does the language in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights relate to the Guardians? Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,
  • What responsibility do journalists have to expose false information? What responsibility do journalists have to report on injustices?
  • What support can citizens show for journalists and the media?

Background and More

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan: The Price of a Free Press: Is Journalism Worth Dying For?, POV
CLP: High school

Constitutional and Legal Connections

#IWPoCo2016 Panel: The International Declaration for the Protection of Journalists, by Habibah Abass, International Press Institute, March 20, 2016

How does international humanitarian law project journalists in armed-conflict situations?, International Committee of the Red Cross, July 27, 2010

Oregon Connections

Why We Should Stop Asking Whether Bloggers Are Journalists, by Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, December 13, 20111

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 5, Lesson 23: How does the Constitution protect freedom of expression?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 5, Lesson 29: How does the First Amendment protect free expression?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 37: What key challenges does the United States face in the future?