Times Square Alliance Names Ball-Dropping Journalist Honorees

Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, which together put on the ball-dropping, cork-popping New Years's Eve festivities in Times Square have named the "special guest" journalists who will be honored, an eclectic group that includes broadcast, cable and digital journalists.

They are Karen Attiah, global opinions editor for the The Washington Post; Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor at the The New York Times; Alisyn Camerota, co-anchor, CNN New Day; Vladimir Duthiers, correspondent, CBS News and anchor, CBSN; Edward Felsenthal, editor-in-chief, Time; Lester Holt, anchor of NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC; Matt Murray, editor-in-chief, The Wall Street Journal; Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent and “This Week” co-anchor, ABC News; Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor, Rappler; Jon Scott, anchor, Fox Report Weekend on Fox News Channel; and Karen Toulon, senior editor, Bloomberg.

The journalists will appear on stage and collectively press the button to send the Times Square ball descending on its 60-second journey to mark the New Year, not to be confused with the wrecking ball the President has aimed at the reputations of mainstream media outlets, including many represented on the stage.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is the official charity honoree of Times Square New Year's Eve, whose theme this year is a celebration of press freedom.

CPJ executive director Joel Simon called the "special guests," which will include Simon himself, "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."

President Trump remains the Elephant in the Room-in-Chief in any conversation about attacking the mainstream media, having made a habit of calling journalists the enemy out to get his administration.

And while it may have been unspoken in the Times Square announcement, criticism of the President was explicit in CPJ's release of its latest report, issued Wednesday (Dec. 19), on the killing of journalists. Saying the White House, "traditionally a strong defender of global press freedom," had equivocated on blame for the killing of dissident Saudi and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. CPJ said: "Essentially, Trump signaled that countries that do enough business with the United States are free to murder journalists without consequence."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.