Murdered Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette newsroom and three other journalists were named as TIME magazine's 2018 Person of the Year.
The accolade, announced Tuesday on NBC’s Today show, recognizes an individual or group of people who "most influenced the news and the world" during the past year.
“Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments," TIME's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in an essay about the selection. "This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment: Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md."
"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 all to tell the story of our time," Felsenthal wrote.
Khashoggi, a well-known critic of Saudi Arabia and columnist for the Washington Post, was killed shortly after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October to obtain marriage documents. His death, allegedly orchestrated by the highest levels of the Saudi government, caused an international outcry.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is widely suspected of ordering the assassination, and a CIA assessment determined the heir to the Saudi throne was in frequent communication with a close adviser believed to have overseen the operation on the day Khashoggi was killed.
Ressa is the editor of Rappler, an independent news website in the Philippines that has been highly critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Myanmar has accused Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of breaching the country's official state secrets act while investigating atrocities with Rohingya refugees. Five members of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis were killed in June when a gunman blasted his way into their newsroom.
Of the four recipients, one is dead (Khashoggi), two are convicted (Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo), one is indicted (Ressa) and the other was attacked (Capital Gazette).
The award started in 1927 and the recipient is selected by TIME's editors. This year marks the first year TIME has given the accolade to someone no longer alive.
President Donald Trump was named runner up, which the magazine described as a "crowning irony" to the president's influence.
"His ultimate impact may be determined as much by the resistance he engenders as by the goals he pursues," the magazine said.
"This year brought forth the consequences of Trump's disruption. The deficit soared. The stock market trembled. The voters revolted. Special counsel Robert Mueller circled closer. Trump has tested the system and exposed its weaknesses, but also revealed its strength."
Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling into the 2016 presidential election, came third.
Previous honorees include India's Mohandas Gandhi, Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, John F. Kennedy and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
Among the 2018 finalists were: "Separated families," the more than 2,000 families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border this year in the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" crackdown on people entering the country illegally; "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler; and Christine Blasey Ford. Last year, TIME chose "The Silence Breakers," persons who triggered the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin are two of the most controversial choices. American aviator Charles Lindbergh was the publication's first Person of the Year, for making the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. The flight lasted almost 34 hours.