President Barack Obama’s inauguration and Michael Jackson’s death were named the top two stories of 2009, according to a poll of students at Schenectady High School.
Nearly 100 students were surveyed, asking them to list the stories they believed to be the top five of 2009. Both of these top stories received 68% of the vote.
Barack Obama was inaugurated Jan. 20 in front of over one million people, including myself, in Washington. Obama became the 44th president of the United States and the first ever African American president. Many anticipated the inauguration due to hope for the future and a willingness to allow for change.
Michael Jackson died June 25 at age 50 of suspected drug overdose. Jackson collapsed at his mansion and shocked the whole world when it was announced he had died. Jackson had announced earlier in the year that he was working on a comeback tour. While Jackson had been the face of much controversy for years of his life, his music is some of the most popular of all time. A Los Angeles county coroner ruled that Jackson’s death was a homicide, meaning they believe the doctor that administered drugs to Michael Jackson had a malicious intent.
Other stories that made the top five included the swine flu scare (62 percent of the votes), economic recession (53 percent), the Kanye West and Taylor Swift incident (47 percent), Tiger Woods infidelity scandal (47 percent) and the attempted Christmas plane bombing (33 percent).
The swine flu, or H1N1, is still going around and has been the result of deaths to nearly 15,000 individuals worldwide since the start of 2009.
The economic recession was not only a big story of 2009 but 2008 as well. Many believe the past administration was at fault for the recession, which also helped lead to the nomination of President Obama.
Kanye West, a rap artist, and Taylor Swift, a country-pop artist, were at the center of discussion after the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 13. When Taylor was accepting her award for Best Female Video, Kanye interrupted her speech and announced that Beyonce’s video was one of the best of all time.
The Tiger Woods infidelity scandal shocked many and is still in the news on a daily basis. It’s suspected that Woods cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren, numerous times with various women. Being one of the best athletes of all time and a role model that many look up to, Woods’ fall has been well-noted.
The attempted Christmas plane bombing, while well-known, may have been overlooked by some because of the timing of the event. However, this attempt is still in the news as al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attempt causing high alert in the U.S. for possible terrorist threats.
Narrowing the list
The list of 2009’s top stories was culled from top story lists of top newspapers and Internet sites. The list was narrowed down to 15 stories by the journalism class before the survey was administered. 94 students were surveyed by members of the Journalism class and the results were complied by giving each story that was voted for a point.
One story that just missed the Top 5 list of 2009 was the first African American Disney princess that appeared in “The Princess and the Frog.” This story did receive one write-in vote.
Cody Shepard is a senior at Schenectady High School