In a special edition of the Listening Post, we take a look back on the stories making news in 2010. We have used the results of a survey conducted by Influence Communication, a media analytics company based in Montreal, Canada.
The team at Influence keep a close eye on what is making the news throughout the year; they look at around one billion news items from 160 countries and work out which stories have been receiving the most coverage. Their results make for an interesting 'top 15' rundown of what events and personalities have got people buying papers, and tuning into the news.
Number 15 and 14 are both natural disasters; the Cholera outbreak in Haiti received almost as much coverage as the earthquake that triggered it, whereas the floods in Pakistan, which affected millions more people, was a huge story that the media were much slower to pick up on.
Number 13 is a hangover from 2009 – the post-election protests in Iran. The pictures that broadcast around the world have almost become media shorthand for the situation there, and the dangers for journalists in the country have deteriorated even further in 2010.
Numbers 12, 10 and nine are all international sporting events. The Super Bowl in the US, the Commonwealth Games in India, and the Vancouver Olympics in Canada, always draw huge audiences.
Sandwiched in the middle at number 11 is the war in Iraq. Back in 2007 coverage of the war was the biggest story in the world, but while it has slipped down the news agenda, it may well have fallen further had it not been for WikiLeaks' release of classified war logs.
Iran makes a second appearance at number eight, due to the media's obsession with the nuclear question, which President Ahmadinejad seems happy to goad.
Coverage of Haiti's 7.0 earthquake comes in at number seven, where journalists and media organisations navigated huge logistical and technical challenges to bring wall-to-wall coverage of the disaster.
Number six is the coverage of Europe's financial crisis, which saw the bailouts of Greece and Ireland making big news.
Number five is climate change and global warming, which did not even make the top 15 three years ago.
The World Cup in South Africa is the forth most covered news story in 2010. News crews combed the country for stories and lamented over both football and vuvuzelas.
The war in Afghanistan is at number three, largely due to WikiLeaks' release of the Afghanistan war logs, and the Rolling Stone article that triggered the resignation of US army general, Stanley McChrystal.
The second most covered story in 2010 was the oil spill of the Gulf of Mexico that turned into America's biggest natural disaster, as well as BP's biggest PR challenge.
The number one news story of 2010, according to Influence Communication, was the US midterm elections. The media's obsession with Barack Obama inflated further when combined with their fascination with the opposition Republican Party's political gains.
In this episode of the Listening Post we also get some of our Global Village Voice regulars to give us their rundown of this year's top news stories, as well as a look at the top 10 personalities dominating media coverage in 2010.
To finish the show we have a compilation of some of our favourite Videos of the Week – you will have to watch to see which ones make the cut. We will see you next time at the Listening Post, when we will get started with our coverage of the news coverage and the media for the year 2011.
This episode of the Listening Post aired from Friday, December 31, 2010.