CPJ logo

The Committee to Protect Journalists will be honored at this year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. A group of journalists have been invited to press the official button that lowers the New Year’s Eve ball. “This year we are planning to use the Special Guest moment—when the whole world’s eyes are fixed on Times Square—to celebrate the importance of journalism and freedom of the press,” said a letter from Countdown Entertainment president Jeffrey Strauss and Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins. The honor follows the naming of a group of journalists as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year.” Last year’s honoree was #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.

ICR Conference

ICR has announced that Jeff Fromm, president of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and partner at Barkley, will deliver a keynote presentation at the 21st annual ICR Conference. The conference will take place Jan. 14-16 at the Grand Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida with Mr. Fromm’s presentation, “Marketing to Gen Z in the age of snackable content” being held on Monday, Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. In addition to Fromm’s keynote presentation, public company presentations will take place on Jan. 14 and 15, and private company presentations on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The full conference schedule is available at http://www.icrconference.com/schedule/.

Rural Spirit Awards
Rural Spirit Award winners

Osborn Barr | Paramore has given out its first annual Rural Spirit Awards. The awards honor people who build, serve and inspire rural communities. The FFA Team of Normal Community High School in Normal, IL, received the Next Gen Award for starting the #FFA10GallonChallenge—a viral project that prompted 300 FFA chapters to donate a total of 3,000 gallons of milk to local homeless shelters. Brent Comstock, founder and CEO of BCom Solutions, received the Economic Development Award for developing the Rural Impact Hub, a place for rural community organizations to partner together and collaborate on ways to support and strengthen rural America. Dustin Row, a veteran who is the founder and president of Songs4Soldiers (S4S), an organization which offers assistance to veterans and shares their stories, was presented with the Community Service Award.