Time Moves from Zuckerberg to Protester

In a move that can only be termed as revolutionary, Time magazine has turned in a year from an ordinary tech development called Facebook to faces that changed the complexion of world polity. Time’s decision last year to give Person of the Year award to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg threw up many questions. So, this time, the magazine has selected a complete breed of humans “The Protester” as the 2011 TIME Person of the Year.

[ Also Read: Is the TIME Right to Honor Zuckerberg of Facebook? ]

Here’s what editor Rick Stengel said on the choice:

“Is there a global tipping point for frustration? Everywhere, it seems, people said they’d had enough. They dissented; they demanded; they did not despair, even when the answers came back in a cloud of tear gas or a hail of bullets. They literally embodied the idea that individual action can bring collective, colossal change. And although it was understood differently in different places, the idea of democracy was present in every gathering.”

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“No one could have known that when a Tunisian fruit vendor in a town barely on a map set himself on fire in a public square, it would spark protests that would bring down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and rattle regimes in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Or that that spirit of dissent would spur Mexicans to rise up against the terror of drug cartels, Greeks to march against unaccountable leaders, Americans to occupy public spaces to protest income inequality, and Russians to marshal themselves against a corrupt autocracy.”

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“For capturing and highlighting a global sense of restless promise, for upending governments and conventional wisdom, for combining the oldest of techniques with the newest of technologies to shine a light on human dignity and, finally, for steering the planet on a more democratic though sometimes more dangerous path for the 21st century, the Protester is TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year.”

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Comments from Raman Media Network: As we had stated last year, we reiterate that it’s a highly immoral practice for media companies that are breaking their ethical limits to distribute commercially influenced awards.

These awards come with a significant element of bias, as media companies choose those people who are obviously hot in the news – just to get more readerships (and thus advertisements) for their magazines, newspapers, TV shows, etc. The awards processes are full of ambiguities of all kinds.

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If media people have to say something good or bad about some people, they should use the columns of their magazines, etc. to say that instead of choosing the awards route, which is shady in most cases.

Let the awards thing be handled by neutral agencies like The Nobel Foundation for Nobel Prizes or Pulitzer Administration for Pulitzer Prizes.

Rakesh Raman of Raman Media Network

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Rakesh Raman