Each year, Time recognizes the person or thing that has most influenced the culture and the news during the past year for good or for ill.
"Our person of the year for 2011 is the protester; the men and women around the world, particularly in the Middle East, who toppled governments, who brought a sense of democracy and dignity to people who hadn't had it before," Managing Editor Rick Stenger told the "Today" show. "I think speaking of the year ahead, these are folks who are changing history already and they will change history in the future."
Stenger said protests in the Middle East influenced the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The protesters are being recognized because they are "redefining people power'' around the world and reshaping global politics.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke received the honor in 2009. The 2008 winner was then-President-elect Barack Obama. Other previous winners have included Bono, President George W. Bush, and Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos.
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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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