Repeal the 8th among top news stories in 2018

The repeal of the Eighth Amendment, the cervical check story and homelessness were ranked as the three most important news stories in Ireland last year, research by Core marketing communications for its annual cultural index survey shows. The results are based on the views of 10,000 Irish consumers discussing 198 news stories across 20 categories.

The interviewees were asked which stories they considered most important and of which they were most aware. Analysis of the responses indicated that the top ten stories for public awareness captured the attention of over 90 per cent of the population, with news stories in March relating to the infamous ‘Beast from the East’ storm dominating the list.

It included the looting and later re-opening of Lidl in Tallaght and the selling out of slice-pan bread due to the snow. Another brand-related story that scored well in awareness was Ryanair’s cancellation of flights due to staff strikes in June – on a par with the World Cup in Russia and the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, pictured.

Stories that received less attention included the announcement of the Love Island winner, Facebook’s decision to change its newsfeed settings and Westlife being “speechless” after tickets to their Croke Park concert sold out in 10 minutes. While the most important stories often did not score as highly in terms of public awareness, interviewees noticed stories around social issues, especially with regard to themes relating to women, health and housing.

Despite being consistently in the news, Brexit only placed 35th on the list of most important stories, as younger adults have been less engaged with the ongoing developments around the UK’s planned departure from the EU. In sport, the top story was the Irish men’s rugby team’s win over New Zealand, followed closely by the death of footballer Liam Miller.

The Belfast rape trial of  the Ulster rugby players was next in line.

In tech, while participants highlighted the importance of child safety and data privacy, including GDPR and the hacking of Facebook, fewer people were aware of these stories. Other stories which had high awareness included the death of singer Dolores O’Riordan in January and the opening of the first Krispy Kreme outlet in Blanchardstown in October.

Core strategic planner Finian Murphy said the survey shows up what Irish people are sharing and allows marketers to see the top news stories. “Often we ignore the quiet and personal stories that resonate most with people and focus more on stories that get most attention. But we can’t ignore the stories that impact on people personally,” Murphy added.





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