Time magazine's 2006 Person of the Year is "you"

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cover of TIME with the person of the year

Set to hit newstands in the United States on Monday, the annual news feature by TIME magazine pictures on its glossy front page an Apple iMac-styled computer keyboard and monitor with a reflective monitor surface that reflects YOU as the most influential Person of the Year, for "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before."

"For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time's Person of the Year for 2006 is you," Lev Grossman, Time's technology writer, wrote. The magazine claims that those who contribute content to the web are the ones driving the information age, instead of mainstream media.

"It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes," said Grossman.

Magazine editor Richard Stengel said, "If you choose an individual, you have to justify how that person affected millions of people. But if you choose millions of people, you don’t have to justify it to anyone.”

26 “People Who Mattered” are listed in the magazine, ranging from North Korea's president Kim Jong Il to Pope Benedict XVI.

According to Stengel, if the magazine had to choose an individual the choice was likely to have been Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Stengel however seemed uneasy about naming Ahmadinejad. “It just felt to me a little off selecting him,” said Time's editor.

There has been a "Time Person of the Year" since 1927 and the special issue has become a catalyst for speculation every year. In the past there have been controversies with Adolf Hitler named in 1938 and Ayatollah Khomeini named in 1979. According to the magazine, the person of the year are those who affected the news and our lives both positively and negatively over the past year.

It is not the first time the magazine has departed from naming an actual person as Person of the Year. In 1966 the magazine named people under 25, in 1975 it named American women, and in 1982 it named the computer.