Editorial: 2011 In News

Katie Lee

On reflection, the year 2011 has seen a lot with regards to the world of news. Who knew on the first of January 2011 what the following year would become. It would be a laborious task to analyse everything that has happened in the news over the last year and the product wouldn’t be too interesting to read! And so instead, I have chosen to select what I deem to be five of the biggest news headlines of the year as a nice little piece of memorabilia.

In March 2011, Tohoku, Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami of devastating magnitude. As a direct result of this a nuclear plant in Fukushima Daiichi, Japan was victim of a series of equipment failures and nuclear meltdowns. We all watched as this disaster unfolded and each reactor collapsed over a series of intense days. Without getting in to the elaborate logistics of nuclear power (which I doubt I could do if I tried) it is difficult to provide a true analysis of these events. However, the effect of this was detrimental and triggered many debates about nuclear power and contributed to the decision made by Germany on the 30th May to abandon nuclear power after seeing the “helplessness” of Japan to manage the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Stepping out of the disaster zone and into some patriotism, the next big piece of news (and I do this in chronological order and not in order of importance) was Will and Kate’s big day. The royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the 29th April saw hundreds of thousands of royalists celebrate the magical union of young, royal love. Whether you love or hate the monarchy, this day was one of celebration and happiness and gave people a reason to hang bunting and have a drink down at the local park.

On the 16th May 2011, NASA launched their final space shuttle which ended on July 21st when the shuttle rolled to a stop at its home port NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. This marked the end of an era and potentially the beginning of human spaceflight. Even the idea of the potential of humans orbiting space baffles my mind on many levels, but I suppose if NASA says “the future (of human spaceflight) is bright”, why can’t itbe bright with stars.

On a more serious note, the conspiracies of the 22nd July Norway attacks were a big part of the news over the summer months. The anti-government terrorist attacks started with a car bomb explosion outside Government buildings in Oslo (killing 8 people) and lead into a mass shooting less than two hours later at a summer camp on a near-by island.  Anders Behring Breivik was charged for both attacks, which resulted in 77 deaths. These attacks led people worldwide into panic, wondering what the possible motives for such an atrocity could be.  The charges decided on against Breivik were for terrorism but many still questionhis alliances and reasoning.

Skimming over many months of news, leads us to November 30th – a day of national industrial action against pension cuts and general discontent towards the Con-Dem Government. Although to some this may not seem a massively important event, to others it was an historical day of demonstration and protest. 2011 has reiterated the value and force of people power. People are seeking revolution across the globe and it is important to maintain the hope and belief that one day, justice will be served. In times of social unrest, we need to stand together against what we believe is wrong in our world and I believe that 30.11.11 marked such an occasion.

Again, apologies for the condense 2011 news package, however, these were all stories that were impossible not to follow. Of course many other things happened that have been just as important if not more, but due to the categorisation of my ‘news’ section I decided to stick with the stories that stand out in my 2011 memory.


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