New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball Drop to Be Dedicated to ‘Press Freedom’

Media watch as workmen demonstrate the replacement of a panel on the New Year's Eve ball on top of a building in Times Square, New York, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. Preparations for New Year's Eve in Times Square are taking shape, and some of those shapes are 192 new crystal …
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The committee in charge of putting on the iconic ball drop in New York City’s Times Square this New Year’s Eve dedicated this year’s celebration to “press freedom.”

The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment tweeted Saturday that the organization enlisted a group of journalists to help ring in 2019 during the Times Square celebration, all in the name of honoring press freedom.

“On New Year’s Eve we look back and reflect on the major events of the past year, we look forward with a sense of hope, and we celebrate the people and things we value most,” Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “This year, we’re celebrating the free press and journalism and those who work to protect, preserve and practice it.”

The Times Square Alliance — which named the Committee to Protect Journalists as its “charity honoree” for the evening — got its inspiration for the theme from TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2018, which honored persecuted journalists like slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The organization listed the group of 11 journalists who would be taking part in the button-pushing ceremony when the clock strikes midnight:

  • Karen Attiah, Global Opinions Editor, The Washington Post

  • Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor, The New York Times

  • Alisyn Camerota, Co-Anchor, CNN New Day

  • Vladimir Duthiers, Correspondent, CBS News and Anchor, CBSN

  • Edward Felsenthal, Editor-in-Chief, TIME

  • Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC

  • Matt Murray, Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal

  • Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent and “This Week” Co-Anchor, ABC News

  • Maria Ressa, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor, Rappler

  • Jon Scott, Anchor, Fox Report Weekend on Fox News Channel

  • Karen Toulon, Senior Editor, Bloomberg

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