Streem insights reveal the biggest news stories of 2022

Realtime media monitoring provider Streem today released its list of the biggest news stories and most notable people of 2022, reviewing what has been a significant year in news media.

In a year that has seen countless major news events, Streem’s data confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic was the top story of 2022, in Australian news media. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the most-mentioned person in Australian news media this year.

Jack McLintock, communications lead at Streem, said the diversity in top stories from the year highlighted what a noteworthy year 2022 was. “While many hoped that 2022 would be the year we moved past the pandemic, the wall-to-wall COVID coverage in the opening months of the year ensured it would be the top story of the year.

“As the year unfolded, numerous other major news events took place, including the War in Ukraine, the 2022 Federal Election and the death of The Queen. Add to these significant events strong undercurrents of cost of living pressures, including inflation and energy prices, and 2022 was as big a news year as they come.

“With many of the events that fed the news cycle in 2022 rolling into 2023, expect the pace of news to remain just as fast in the new year.”

The prominence of the COVID-19 pandemic in news coverage in the months ahead of the Federal Election ensured that it retained its lead as the biggest news story of the year, ahead of the War in Ukraine, the Federal Election, and the floods experienced across Australia during the year.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 9 (Australian time) was the most prominent a story that saw on one single day, ahead of other big single-story days including the summer COVID wave in early January, Ukraine’s initial invasion, and Shane Warne’s death.

Seven of the 12 months of the year have had COVID as the biggest story of the month, although after January, its dominance of the headlines was significantly reduced, with other stories coming close to taking the top spot.

Vladimir Putin was the main character of 2022

While many people mentioned in the news saw a sudden peak in peak in prominence, such as Queen Elizabeth II or Shane Warne, or a strong level of sustained coverage throughout the year, such as Donald Trump or Joe Biden, only three of the 10 most-mentioned people had both.

Vladimir Putin, Scott Morrison, and Anthony Albanese all had very high peaks in prominence, and a strong level of sustained media attention during the year, cementing them as the central figures in Australian news in 2022. Putin’s incredibly high level of sustained prominence during the early phases of the War in Ukraine means that he was 2022’s ‘main character’, achieving peaks in coverage higher than anyone else saw during the year, while also consistently featuring in prominent news stories throughout the span of the year.

While the death of Queen Elizabeth II was the single-biggest one-day news event of the year, Vladimir Putin was more prominent in the news on the day the Invasion of Ukraine commenced than anyone else at any point during the year.


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