“This year, we’re celebrating the free press and journalism and those who work to protect, preserve and practice it,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “In a place that is synonymous with news and home to multiple national news broadcasts, and which itself was named after a newspaper (which started the New Year’s celebration here in 1904), no theme could be more apt as we enter 2019.”
Special guests and well known journalists will be invited to the event to push the button to lower crystal ball on Dec. 31. The organizers of the event said the identity of the journalists will be named closer to New Year’s Eve.
“Americans are united in their belief that press freedom and independent journalism are at the heart of our democracy,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “Our country’s commitment to these principles has inspired journalists around the world working in dangerous and difficult conditions.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists is the ball drops official charity.
Earlier this month, Time magazine gave the annual designation of 2018 “Person of the Year,” to “The Guardians and the War on Truth”. Murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, staff members of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland, jailed journalists Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were all highlighted.
As journalists are fired, losing their voice, are censored and having to find other means to speak thier truth, maybe next year when the ball drops, hopefully it will celebrate the demolition of mob rule.