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Person of the Year

  I do not understand why Time still has not changed "Man of the Year" to "Person of the Year." Is it because your search would then include many more intelligent and compassionate people, making the decision even more difficult?

Aruna Radhakrishna
Carrboro, NC

The following response is transcribed as it was received:

Thank you for your letter about Time's annual Man of the Year designation. We welcome the opportunity to discuss it with you.

We understand the concerns expressed by you and a number of other readers: that despite our willingness to adapt the title to whomever is chosen, the traditional title perhaps suggests an exclusionary interpretation. Since we have had Woman of the Year (1986), Women of the Year (1975), a Machine of the Year (19~2), a Couple-of-the-Year (1937), Men-of-the-Year (1972) and even a Man of the Half Century (1949), it would seem clear that we see the title as more of a reference point than anything else and that we do not bind ourselves to it in a literal or narrow sense. But readers have, like you, suggested that we change it to something like Person, Influence or Newsmaker of the Year. Logic, as well as the perception of contemporary thought, would surely be on your side. For all that, however, we would surely be on your side. For all venerable tradition at Time, now well over 60 years. Seen from that perspective, the people who are chosen belong to a special group of newsmakers, and deserve the continuity that tradition provides.

Still, we have noted your feeling that a change is worth considering, and we thank you, again, for taking the time to write to us. The editors, who value your interested, send their best wishes to you.

Amy Musher


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