Leading journalists will ring in the New Year Monday in New York City’s Times Square as the annual ball drop, watched globally by billions, recognizes journalism and free speech.
The group of reporters and editors will appear on stage just before midnight to push the button that officially begins the 60-second countdown to the lowering of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball and the New Year.
“In one of the world’s most famous public squares, it is fitting to celebrate free press and free speech as we reflect on where we’ve been during the past year and what it is we value most as a society,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, the event organizer.
TIME Editor and CEO Edward Felsenthal will join journalists including Karen Attiah, Global Opinions Editor, The Washington Post; Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor, The New York Times; Alisyn Camerota, Anchor, CNN New Day; Vladimir Duthiers, Anchor, CBSN and Correspondent, CBS News; Lester Holt, Anchor, NBC Nightly News; Matt Murray, Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal; Martha Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, ABCNews; Maria Ressa, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor, Rappler; Jon Scott, Anchor, Fox Report Weekend; Karen Toulon, Editor, Bloomberg News; and Joel Simon, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the official charity honoree of Times Square New Year’s Eve.
At least 251 journalists were imprisoned in 2018, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists recent annual report. In recognition of the dangers that reporters faced and the courage they exhibited this year, TIME named four journalists, including Rappler’s Maria Ressa, and the staff of the Annapolis, Md., Capital Gazette 2018 Person of the Year.