- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
Judging by my Twitter feed, Time has managed to tick off the entire Internet in selecting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as its "person of the year" — the youngest to earn the title since Charles Lindbergh. The magazine’s rationale: "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives" is not likely to mollify the Twitterati, who tend to be a snobbish crowd. (Sample: "Time Magazine just named its Person of The Year 2007.")
Snark aside, it’s unclear what’s particularly 2010 about this pick. Facebook has been huge for a while now, and if anything, it may be headed for inevitable decline. I suppose it’s a step up from 2006,when Time‘s editors picked "You" as its POY, citing the rise of "Web 2.0" sites like Facebook, Wikipedia, MySpace (remember that?), Second Life (ditto), and YouTube.
This year, just like in 2006, the magazine asked its readers to cast their votes, and just like in 2006, it ignored them. Back then, it was Hugo Chávez who stirred the masses (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the official runner-op); this year it was Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame, who ran away with the online poll.
I suppose we’ll now be treated to a dreadfully predictable debate about whether Time wimped out by not choosing Assange, and maybe those crazy Anonymous hackers will seek revenge on Time‘s servers. I’m sure the magazine’s editors will embrace the discussion in any event: Controversy sells.