Climate change top news stories in August

The Amazon rainforest fires and climate activist Greta Thunberg’s 15-day Atlantic crossing to the US  were Ireland’s top news stories in August, research from Core’s Cultural Index, shows. Climate-related stories had the highest awareness, with 90 per cent of people knowing about the Amazon rainforest fires while 85 per cent said it was important or very important.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s sail to the US came in as the second most important story for those under 40, with 72 per cent of young adults seeing it as important, compared to 42 per cent other adults. Core says public interest in climate stories is more evidence that people, particularly the younger generation, are engaged with the green movement.

Closer to home, the pickets on meat processing factories got a lot of notice, with 76 per cent of people aware of the disputes, with 64 per cent rating it as important. A story with slightly higher importance was the Data Protection Commissioner’s investigation into the public services card, with 76 per cent of parents with teens deeming the story as important.

Another story which resonated strongly with families involved the HSE’s launch of the HPV vaccine programme to include boys in first year secondary school, with 84 per cent of older families and 62 per cent of parents with children under 13 aware of the scheme. In sport, the top story was the draw between Dublin and Kerry in the All-Ireland Football final.

The game had an awareness of 80 per cent, while 64 per cent were aware of Tipperary’s victory in the hurling final. Stories that sparked less interest included US vice president Mike Pence’s first official visit to Ireland and the Ireland rugby team suffering a record-breaking defeat to England, even though just  40 per cent of rugby fans saw it as important.

In music, only 21 per cent of young adults said Electric Picnic was important to them, while 33 per cent were aware of the traffic problems that faced festival goers travelling to the All Together Now festival. The Core Cultural Index is based on the views of 1,000 participants discussing 20 news stories as to their awareness and level of importance to them.

For the full findings, go to


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