Washington, DC (TFC) – As The Fifth Column closes its first calendar year, we feel it important to use the platform we have gained to honor some of those on the frontlines in the global fight for information and expression. Given the outlet’s mission of destroying incorrect narratives and promoting the flow of information, we feel it fitting to recognize those people who made great strides in accomplishing those goals.
The criteria for recognition are as follows:
The person must have made a significant positive impact on freedom of speech, freedom of expression, or the flow of information; or the person must have acted publicly in such a way that changed a traditional media narrative.
We chose to select a man, woman, and young person out of a desire to provide recognition to those who deserve it. When we made the decision to make the separate categories, we were operating under the assumption that those most likely to fit the criteria would be journalists. In the United States, there are almost twice as many male journalists as there are female. In countries that suffer the most censorship and repression, which is also where most of the positive impact will be made, almost all of the journalists are men. Through sheer statistics, we assumed our selection would almost always be male if we did not provide separate categories. In a twist of fate, not a single journalist made the short list in any category.
Those selected have been drafted into The Fifth Column. On January 1st, 2016 their names will be placed on our masthead in recognition of their part in the infiltration of the media. They are people whose sacrifice, struggle, and courage are a reflection of what humanity needs.
Young person of the Year for 2015: Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian activist
Woman of the Year for 2015: Nudem Durak, Imprisoned Kurdish singer
Man of the Year for 2015: Raif Badawi, Imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger
(Click their names for more information)