There’s no doubt that the New York’s Times Square new year celebration is one of the iconic one not only in the U.S, but also in world.
A minute before midnight, the first seconds of 2019, an invited group of journalists from ABC News, NBC News, the Washington Post, Reuters and other media outlets joined Mayor Bill de Blasio in pushing the button that initiates the glittering LED ball’s drop.
Organisers of the Times Square ball drop chose a group of journalists to press the ceremonial button. It was because of deadly hostility that some reporters faced this year(2018) and rapid deterioration of press freedom across the world.
Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement days before the event, it was “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”.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post and U.S. resident, was killed inside a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. In June, a gunman shot dead five employees of The Capital, a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
Karren Attiah, who as global opinions editor of the Washington Post reviewed the work of Khashoggi, was present among other journalists as on behalf of Saudi writer. She has become a critical voice in attempts to chase the murder of Khashoggi and find out the real perpetrators of the crime.
2018 was one of the worst years for journalist all over the world. According to Committee to Protect Journalist, a journalism advocacy group, 53 journalists were killed in different countries in 2018. The more authoritarian regimes emerge, the more journalists become target of politics. Journalism has already being classified as one of the dangerous professions, particularly in war-torn and conflicted zones.
(Sources: Reuters and The Guardian)