The top-15 media stories (& viral videos) of ’08

The strange thing about the so-called Global Village is that it has turned us all provincial. We relate to, are interested in, connect with, and remember news events with an insularity that would befuddle Marshall McLuhan. And in the process, we forget that stuff happens outside of the bubble we inhabit.

The Listening Post, the world-class media show on Al Jazeera English hosted by Richard Gizbert, has compiled the stories and personalities that dominated the global media in 2008, in association with Influence Communications, the Canadian media analysts who look at more than a billion TV items from 160 countries.

And the winner? The US presidential election which occupied a grand total of 6.5 million minutes of airtime around the world. On election November 8, and the day after, an average of 21 television news items per second were aired worldwide. The full list is as under:

1) US presidential elections

2) War in Iraq

3) Global economic meltdown

4) The Beijing Olympics

5) War in Afghanistan

6) Oil prices and climate change

7) Nicholas Sarkozy and Carlo Bruni

8) Tibet during the Olympic torch relay

9) Conflict over South Ossetia betwen Russia and Georgia

10) Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf

11) 60th anniversary of Israel’s creation

12) European football championships

13) Iran’s nuclear programme

14) Zimbabwe’s political and economic troubles

15) Earthquake in western China