In a time when the term “fake news” is being thrown around and the United States has been added to the list of one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist, it’s nice to know that there is one silver lining: this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be dedicated to the freedom of press.
Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, will initiate the ball drop on Monday in Times Square while yet-to-be-named journalists from various U.S. and international outlets will be the guests of honor at the party in one of the most iconic party spots for New Year’s Eve.
This news comes after a tough year for journalists when it comes to the backlash, wild scrutiny, and the Trump administration. There are two journalist attacks in particular that influenced organizers to dedicate the Times Square celebration to the freedom of press. One was the killing of Washington Post Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. In another tragic incident from 2018, five employees of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. were killed after a mass shooting in their newsroom in June.
Khashoggi and the staff of The Capital Gazette were included in Time Magazine‘s “Person of the Year” issue. The magazine announced 2018 “Person of the Year” as, collectively, The Guardians in the war on truth. Time also included journalists Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo in the issue.