Where did the ‘TIMES’ go?

Monica Burton

Design by: Robert Kanehl

TIMES Magazine has reached its end of the era when it comes to choosing a worthy candidate for the ‘Person of the Year.’ Recently, TIMES named the 17-year-old, Greta Thunberg, as the 2019 TIMES person. 

Thunberg is a Swedish teenage environmental activist that has become famous worldwide for advocating climate change. She has traveled all around the globe to speak on the topic. Do not get me wrong; climate change does need to be addressed. However, the methods Thunberg has taken should not be praised. 

In August 2018, Thunberg began her movement by skipping school. She camped out outside of the Swedish Parliament while holding a sign that said ‘School Strike for Climate.’ Even though she is speaking on a prevalent topic in our society, she should not be categorized with individuals that have changed lives.

The magazine invites readers to weigh in on who they believe has earned the title. However, the TIMES editors are the ones to make the final decision of who the title goes to. They pick this person who has affected the news and many lives, either for the good or bad. 

In 1927, TIMES named Charles Lindbergh as the first ‘Person of the Year.’ Lindbergh was an American aviator, military officer and activist who became famous for making the first solo transatlantic airplane flight in 1927. Since then, TIMES have chosen individuals such as John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others who have been influential to society. 

With these influencers who have left some of the greatest legacies, they have either made a difference or left footprints that will never be forgotten. These individuals deserve the title given by the TIMES. Not only have presidents or civil rights activists been chosen, but also those unnamed such as The American Solider. Does Thunberg belong in this category with Franklin D. Rosevelt, Pope Francis and others?

There are also other activists besides Thunberg who speak on climate and have become more influential than this teenager. Leonardo DiCaprio has been advocating climate change and founded over 200 projects around the world and awarded $100 million in grants, so where is his TIMES magazine cover? 

Any 17-year-old can skip school and hold up a sign in front of a building. Hopefully, after seeing all the negative feedback regarding the Thunberg decision, the TIMES will look to a more prominent candidate for 2020. Who knows, a baby could be on the next cover.