Top global news stories of 2010

The top news stories of 2010 follow.

1. South African World Cup – The South African World Cup towered over all other news stories.

2. iPad – A product launch is the No. 2 worldwide news story!?

3. Rise of China – Top story of the first decade of the 21st century, still very strong.

4. Healthcare reform – The debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continues unabated.

5. Wikileaks – Not a wiki in the usual sense of “an open environment which anyone can edit,” the story of revealed institutional secrets that will continue to resonate well into 2011.

6. Tea Party – The U.S. political movement which emphasizes scaled back government intrusion, influence and spending.

7. Fall of Obama – His fall is relative to the great heights to which he ascended.

8. Gulf oil spill – An unprecedented environmental catastrophe broadcast live around the world via the BP spillcam.

9. Haitian earthquake – Hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced and the agony continues.

10. Political anger and rage – Frustration in the U.S. and much of the developed world about the financial and political situation.

11. EU financial crisis – The economies of Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain threaten to consume billions of euros in bailouts.

12. Shanghai Expo – The “grand gathering of the world cultures” was visited by some 70 million in 2010.

13. Growth of Facebook – With 400 million members it now touts itself as the fourth largest nation on the planet. However, there is no word of UN membership or plans for a standing army.

14. Pakistan Floods – Garnered more attention worldwide than in the U.S.

15. Scott Brown election – The turnover of the “Kennedy seat” after half a century to this upstart, pickup-driving Republican caused quite a stir.

16. Tiger Woods – Previously notable for the first golfer to earn a billion dollars, the news of his serial infidelities continues to impact the golf world.

17. British coalition government – David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead a new coalition into power.

18. Chilean Miners – The dramatic saga and rescue of Los 33, provided riveting drama (and television) to a world weary of disheartening news.

19. Polish President killed -- Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and dozens of high government officials died en route to a memorial service honoring the 20,000 Poles who died in the Katyn forest.

20. Global economic restructuring – Also known as the Great Recession in the U.S., but felt worldwide especially among developed Western nations.

21. Vuvuzela – The brightly colored plastic horns that caused much consternation at the South African World Cup.

23. Ground Zero Mosque – Officially known as 45 Park Place, the controversial Islamic center planned a few blocks north of Ground Zero.

24. Icelandic Volcano – The unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano that disrupted air travel over much of Northern Europe.

25. Snowmageddon – The unusually heavy snowfalls that virtually shut down Washington, D.C. during an exceptionally snowy winter.

Paul JJ Payack is president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor.The Austin-Texas-based Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular emphasis upon Global English. For more information, call 1.925.367.7557, email, or visit

More in News

Leaked DNC email mocks story about weak cybersecurity at DNC

Read more »