In an effort to gin up a bit of publicity for its annual choice for “Person of the Year,” Time has released its list of ten finalists. They include Pope Francis, President Obama, Jeff Bezos, Miley Cyrus, Ted Cruz, and two Middle Eastern leaders: Bashar al-Assad, the embattled President of Syria, and Hassan Rouhani, the new President of Iran. Of these, Pope Francis is by far the strongest candidate, but even the radical new Pontiff can’t compete with another troublemaker on the list: Edward Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who is currently residing somewhere in Russia as the guest of Vladimir Putin, Time’s 2007 honoree.
According to Time, its award, which will be bestowed on Wednesday, goes to the person who, in the opinion of the magazine’s editors, had the most influence on the news. By this metric, it’s no contest.
Naming Snowden as Person of the Year won’t, by itself, change what happens in Washington and other capitals. But the honor, coming from the editors of the world’s most famous newsweekly, would, at least, send a message that journalists recognize the contribution he has made, and the importance of the issues he has raised.
Source: The New Yorker