Time’s Person of the Year – Are We Still Behind the Time?

Time’s “Person of the year”. Are we still behind Time?


Time magazine each year issues a Person of the Year. It features and profiles a person, an idea, or an object that “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year”. A list of Person of the Year, which was called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year until 1999, can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Person_of_the_Year

After wanting to see who was crowned person of the year on the year I was born, I was quite saddened by the lack of diversity. The lack of women, children, people of colour. It made me question if the “for better for worse” is a true, just criteria for the front page? Over the years, this popular magazine has built this reputation of being the Person of the Year to be the equivalent for an award. It seems that since the list began, every serving President of the United States has been a Man or Person of the Year, with a rare few exceptions.

Whilst there have been women, couples, campaigns, and two inanimate objects: The Computer (Machine of the Year, 1982) and The Endangered Earth (Planet of the Year, 1988 men are mostly featured on the front page. Dumbo the Disney character lost out one year, which broke my heart. Not degrading anyone who has been on the front page, but one would rather see influences in sciences, in the conservation of wildlife, inspirational writers, directors, producers, teachers, rather than just world leaders that a lot of people cannot relate to. The paper justify their choices of Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1939 and 1942), Nikita Khrushchev (1957) and Ayatollah Khomeini (1979) being granted for having an “impact.”

The “for worse” statement is allowing for too much leeway for negativity, especially in regards to the most recent president of the United States. “Influencers” are what is making the world turn right now, and I would argue that the Kardashians or Rhianna influence more than some that have graced the front page. Surely, we would want to promote positive influencers, not just the ones who have caused the “most” influence. By all means, publish them, talk about them, create debates, but for the front page, which will influence many readers and viewers, shouldn’t there be people making a positive rather than people who have an impact. A possible change for the better would be to showcase those who could make an impact, those who are trying to change the world for the better, and talk about how we can make positive steps into helping.

Pause for thought here, why the hell hasn’t David Attenborough been the front page for the last ten years? Hmm.

I was so pleased to see that 2017 belongs to the Metoo movement, which arguably, is standing for every woman in the world, therefore trumps all the men previously posted. The irony in being that they Trumped Donald Trump this year. With a runner up being the Director of Monster and The Wonder Woman Film Franchise. I am curious to see who 2018 will be. Hopefully Time is taking a step into the future and realising that this prestigious front page power should go to those who can actually influence in a positive manor, not for just having an impact. Otherwise I expect ISIS or a NRA to take front page this year.

Any opinions, Tweet me @romeyheenan

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