In a celebration of press freedom, several prominent journalists will launch the Times Square ball drop as New Yorkers ring in the New Year on Monday night.
In a Friday press release, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, both organizers of the bash, announced that “the group will appear on stage with the Committee to Protect Journalists just before midnight to push the crystal button that signals the lowering of the Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball.”
“The moment – seen by billions around the world – officially begins the 60-second countdown to the New Year.”
The list of special guests in Times Square – which got its name from The New York Times – includes Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah, who worked with slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, New York Times deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, CBS’ Vladimir Duthiers, Time Magazine CEO Edward Felsenthal and others.
The full list was tweeted out by the Times Square Twitter account:
CPJ, the event’s official charity honoree, is a New York City-based nonprofit that has established itself as a major proponent of press freedom throughout the world, continually monitoring and advocating for journalists under attack.
Executive Director Joel Simon, who will also join reporters on the stage, expressed his praise for their work and the values upon which they’ve staked their careers.
“The group of journalists who will join us on stage to inaugurate the countdown to 2019 are highly distinguished,” Simon said. “They are also representatives of all journalists in the United States, and around the world who work hard every day to keep their communities informed and hold the powerful to account. It’s the freedom to do this critical work that we celebrate.”
Noting his thanks, Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said the organization is “honored to have such a respected group of media entities and journalists join us to #CelebratePressFreedom as we ring in 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.”