Donald Trump AP The accolade is awarded to a figure who has influenced the news agenda for better or worse
Donald Trump has been named the 2016 Time magazine person of the year.
The announcement was made on Time’s website and NBC’s Today show on Wednesday morning.
The award is decided by Time’s editors and goes to the person or group who have had a major influence on the news for better or worse.
The President-elect, who was placed third last year, said receiving the title was a “great honour”.
In an article explaining the decision, editor Nancy Gibbs said the real estate mogul has been given the title “for reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s”.
— TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2016
The tradition of the person of the year dates back to 1927 when Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly a plane solo across the Atlantic, was awarded the title.
The “better or worse” clause also explains that unpopular people can win the award as it is about how much influence they have had on the news agenda, be it positive or negative . Famously, in 1938 Adolf Hitler won the title as did Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Last year, the leader of Isis Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was placed second.
Whether this year’s person of the year is for better or worse is up to readers, according to Gibbs: “The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer”.
Hillary Clinton came in second place for this year’s title, the hackers third, Turkey’s president Erdogan in fourth, the CRISPR scientists fifth and Beyonce in sixth place.
Other contenders in this year’s shortlist included gymnast Simone Biles, Nigel Farage and the whistleblowers of the Flint water crisis.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the Time Person of the year reader’s poll with 18 per cent of the vote ahead of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Julian Assange who received 7 per cent of the vote each.
Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the prize for “asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply” during the refugee crisis.