Gaza journalists 'deserve Time's Person of the Year, not Taylor Swift,' activists say

Gaza journalists 'deserve Time's Person of the Year, not Taylor Swift,' activists say
Activists online said that the likes of Gaza's journalists are more deserving to be named TIME's Person of the year rather than Taylor Swift, given their dedication to reporting despite the life-threatening conditions in the territory.
3 min read
08 December, 2023
Journalists in Gaza are risking their lives to document life under Israeli bombardment to the public [Getty/file photo]

Pro-Palestinian activists have said US singer Taylor Swift should not be TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, and it should go to the on-the-ground journalists in Gaza.

Swift was named Person of the Year by the US publication on Wednesday, following a record-breaking year of chart-topping albums and a huge stadium tour that saw her become a billionaire.

Activists believe the title should have gone to Gaza-based journalists such as Motaz Azaiza, Bisan Owda, Plestia Alaqad, and Hind Khoudary who have risked their lives to cover the fierce Israeli bombardment and siege on the enclave since 7 October.

At least 68 media professionals have been killed since 7 October with Israel accused of targeting journalists covering the war in Gaza.

The young Palestinian journalists have posted images, and videos, documenting life under Israeli occupation, siege, and bombardment.

The group of journalists, also among them Al Jazeera correspondents Wael Dahdouh and Yomna El Sayed, have been hailed as heroes for their tireless journalism, navigating bombings, communications blackouts, hunger, and personal losses.

One activist, Zayna, said: "Today, I choose to honor the real people of the year: the journalists in Palestine. Their constant strength and courage in the midst of a genocide is something so admirable".

"They lose family and friends but never stop showing us what’s actually happening in Gaza," she continued.

Another X user, Jay, expressed: "Palestinian doctors, journalists, men, women and children have faced unimaginable horrors for 60 days (and 76 years) straight and their spirit has remained strong. To ignore how their strength has influenced and touched billions worldwide is to plug our ears and shut your eyes".

Several others have posted images of the journalists photoshopped onto the magazine's cover, with the caption "my people of the year".

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subject to relentless Israeli strikes for over two months and a complete siege on all imports resulting in a collapsing healthcare system and widespread hunger.

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Al Jazeera Gaza correspondent Wael Dahdouh lost his family when his home was targeted in an Israeli airstrike.

Other citizen journalists have also been killed, including Dr. Refaat al-Areer on Thursday. 

Israel has killed at least 17,177 Palestinians in its assault on Gaza since 7 October, targeting journalists in both Gaza and along the Lebanese border.