Freedom of the press honored as NYC rings in 2019

Journalists from ABC News, NBC News, The Washington Post, Reuters and other outlets helped ring in 2019 in Times Square on Monday as part of a tribute to freedom of the press.

ADVERTISEMENT

Representatives of multiple news organizations joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in pushing the button to trigger the ball drop at the annual celebration in Times Square. Thousands of people stood in the cold and rain for hours on New Year's Eve to witness the yearly spectacle.

NBC's Lester Holt, ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Alisyn Camerota were among those on stage.

Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, co-organizers of Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, announced in December that this year's event would honor the media and press freedom following a year in which journalists came under attack, including in the U.S.

The Committee to Protect Journalists was chosen as the night's official charity honoree.

Journalists' safety was an increasingly prevalent issue in 2018.

Notable incidents for the year included Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, a gunman killing five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., in June and two Reuters journalists who were sentenced to prison time in September after they were arrested while working in Myanmar.

Time magazine named journalists who were imprisoned or killed in the past year as its 2018 "Person of the Year."