Pakistani teen blogger Malala Yousafzai is Time's runner-up for Person of the Year

The Taliban "wanted to silence" Malala Yousafzai when they shot her and several classmates on Oct. 9, Aryn Baker writes. "Instead, they amplified her voice."

The Pakistani teenager was targeted for championing girls' education, a campaign that gained international recognition when she began blogging about her education for the BBC, anonymously at first. After she acknowledged she'd written the blog, Malala was attacked in her hometown of Mingora, where one would-be assassin put a bullet in her head. The authorities made arrests, but didn't find the attack's planner. The Taliban complained later that the media showed bias while covering its attempted murder of a child: "this filthy, godless media has taken huge advantage of this situation, and journalists have started passing judgment on us," a Taliban spokesperson said in October.

Malala is recovering in England. She insists "that she be photographed with a book in hand and her headscarf carefully draped to hide any signs of damage — both as a nod to tradition and so that supporters would know that her priorities had not changed," Baker writes.

TIME made a nifty timeline of Malala's life so far.

"Malala was already a spokesperson; the Taliban made her a symbol," Baker writes.

Correction: This post's headline originally misspelled the word Pakistani

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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