10 Year-Stopping News, Colltalers
News headlines can’t describe what happened in the past 12 months. The more media organizations have become all but branches of a myriad of economic interests, the more what mattered most to people’s lives has been passed over for some celebrity salacious bit.
Nevertheless, most of those who spent 2014 a few hours awaken everyday, or night, know exactly what pieces of information really moved and impacted their lives. Humbly, we’ll attempt to line up those that affected us too, so later we can all compare notes.
We’re not innocent bystanders in this, and unwittingly, we play a part by choosing to tune in to the fake news report, instead of what truly depresses us. After all, we’re humans, and who could stand 24-hours of relevant information, right? It turns out, many.
More on that later, but first, let’s lay down some of the groundwork that helped us devise the Top 10 news stories of 2014, without sound too pedantic, or bias towards that pesky liberalism that seems to be always swiftly drowned in the spilled blood of reality.
Colltales is a U.S.-based site (weren’t you warned about pedantry?), so it’s unavoidable that the start point of this retrospective reflects it as much. But in the final mix of stories, those based here are but in the minority of the themes that dominated the past year.
Many of the headlines that mattered had enough of a balance of local and international flavors, exposing and changing for better or worse, the lives of many. Obviously events, not news, come first in shaping lives and perceptions about the world. But news worth reporting should carry enough of a punch to knock us out of our complacency, and that, dear readers, is what this list does.
Speaking of themes, they hardly change year after year, to be sure. War, crime, disease, poverty, prejudice, agony and hunger are constant features, along with tales of jubilation and the nobility of the human spirit. Somehow, the first part comes out easily and can hardly be contained within a 10-item list; the second, however, the ‘good news report,’ so to speak, is still a work in progress.
Finally, this list may comprise more than 10 stories, as it makes more sense to combine two or more of them under a common theme, even if they took place in different places and time, rather than strictly adhere to some uni-dimensional concept. Here it goes:
1.) U.S.-Cuba Relations – It may seem odd to pick the normalization of diplomatic relations between two nations to top our list, but this was in the making for half a century, and has huge implications both to U.S. internal politics and foreign policy, and to Cuba’s political and economic prospects. With Fidel Castro still alive, it’s an overdue but still surprising masterstroke by President Obama.
2.) Government Torture Reports – Yet another Latin American country, this time Brazil, joined the U.S. to make huge news around the world. Almost simultaneously released, both the Senate’s report on CIA interrogation methods, and the Comissão da Verdade’s dossier on the military dictatorship’s brutality, suddenly exposed in black and white the ugly realities of power left unchecked.
3.) Latest Bombing of Gaza – Incurring the risk that between now and the end of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ignites again (as some fire was again exchanged between them recently), the July campaign all but obliterated the strip, with hundreds of casualties as vicious and indiscriminate as ever. Continue reading