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.
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“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: