TIME Magazine just announced the finalists for its Person Of The Year 2017 award this morning. The award will be given to the person who influenced the news, for better or worse, in the most impactful way this year. The shortlist consists of mostly politicians, but also includes an athlete, a popstar, a group of scientists, the Flint whistleblowers, and Mark Zuckerberg.
An online poll by TIME magazine had Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi winning by a landslide, but that is more likely a result of India’s population of 1.2 billion than anything Modi has done.
Of the shortlist, two names stand out: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Donald Trump influenced the news like no other in 2016. Throughout the primaries, he sucked up all the air time, depriving the crowded field of any oxygen. And during the General Election, he made himself a top headline through a myriad of scandals and tweets.
Trump captured a feeling and mobilized a group of voters who had largely been ignored. His brand of populist nationalism is resonating not just with Americans, but all over the world.
There’s also another, more cynical reason for why Trump might win: if the media has learned anything this year, it’s that their viewership/clicks/sales increase dramatically if their stories center around Trump. Plastering Trump’s face on the cover of TIME Magazine would be a way to boost sales and add relevancy to the fading publication.
Putin has influenced the news but in a more underhanded way. The Democratic National Convention and Podesta hacks are rumored to be linked to Russia and Julian Assange. Assange is being harboured in Russia, and it’s believed both he and country have played a large role in disseminating information about the hacks.
Then there’s Nigel Farage, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Modi, who have all influenced events on an international stage. Farage through the Brexit, Erdoğan with his struggle against a military coup, and Modi for guiding one of the largest developing economies in the world.
Simone Biles and Beyonce transcended their domain; the Whistleblowers and CRISPR Scientists fought for progress; and Zuckerberg’s Facebook played a bigger role in how we consume news.
The 2016 Person of the Year will be revealed on Wednesday, December 7th. Let’s check out the odds in advance.
SEE 2017 TIME Magazine Person Of The Year
Donald Trump: 4/1
Vladimir Putin: 4/1
Hillary Clinton: 9/1
Nigel Farage: 9/1
Narendra Modi: 23/2
The Flint Whistleblowers: 23/2
Mark Zuckerberg: 23/2
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: 19/1
CRISPR Scientists: 39/1
Simone Biles: 39/1