taylor swift, vladimir putin and the ferguson protesters: 2014’s weirdest shortlist

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year shortlist is announced.

by Colin Crummy
08 December 2014, 4:45pm

She launched an album, he threatened to launch a new cold war and they launched a protest against police brutality. As end of year polls go, Time Magazine's Person of the Year is definitely one of the most eclectic, with pop star Taylor Swift, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ferguson protesters all down.

The latter, who demonstrated against the shooting dead of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male by a white police officer in Missouri this August, are not the only group of persons considered for the title. Ebola caregivers are also on the shortlist.

Time Magazine editor Nancy Gibbs said the contenders are "people in different ways and in different spheres that have had the most influence this year." Pope Francis won in 2013; the year before that Barack Obama wore the crown.

Swift had earned her spot for her business acumen, Gibbs told America's Today programme, and not just because she'd owned Instagram in 2014. "She's on the list not just because she's the world's biggest popstar in the world which she is," said Gibbs, "but as a businesswoman and advocate for the value of product when she took her content off the streaming service Spotify."

The Ferguson protests, which reignited in November after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown, "launched a conversation about race relations and the administration of justice in this country," said Gibbs.

Also on the shortlist are: Russian president Putin, Masoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Jack Ma, founder of China's enormo Ebay style site, Alibaba and Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL. This year's winner will be announced on Wednesday 10th December.


Text Colin Crummy

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