2022 in Context presents the most noteworthy events and most relevant topics of the last 12 months, according to data extracted by our own contextual AI, LIZ©.
2021 was a year full of changes and uncertainty that also represented the end of a period that made us dramatically reconsider the world we live in. 2022 was seen as a blank canvas, a clean slate that filled us with excitement and optimism. However, this year has also undoubtedly been incredibly eventful, full of news stories and headlines of its own. Let's take a look back, not only to see what we read throughout the year, but also why we read it.
We read to get informed
During the past two years, the news media has been our ally. More than ever, we've needed to stay informed of what was happening around the world and it took a global pandemic for us to look beyond our borders. Covid-19 brought us together and stayed at the forefront of our minds as we headed into 2022. As has the pandemic. In 2022, Covid-19 cases exceeded 500 million worldwide, while 20% of the articles related to the pandemic mentioned the words "death" or "vaccines".
While it is true that the pandemic has gradually disappeared throughout the year, humanitarian crises have persisted. Stories of global warming, droughts in Africa and natural disasters such Hurricane Ian have made the news on a daily basis. Europe experienced its hottest summer on record and people's pessimism has been reflected in articles related to climate, with September being the most negative month (53%).
We read to understand
Just as we thought that 2022 was going to be a calmer and relatively uneventful year, rumors of a possible war between Russia and Ukraine began to emerge. These rumors soon became reality as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Zelensky did not let down his guard as the invasion brought war, death and bombings to the country. As a result, there was a 113% increase in interest in articles mentioning the conflict, with a 95% rate of negativity in any new news content.
As the invasion of Ukraine continued, inflation and therefore fears of a new economic crisis spread across the rest of the world, with inflation in the US reaching its highest levels since 1981. While users' interest in business-related news increased 70%, their interest in positive content fell by 84%.
We read to stay connected
Amidst all the pessimism and negativity, we learned to look beyond ourselves and find moments to connect with the rest of the world. As the pandemic has subsided, travel has once again become a topic of interest. In June and July alone, there were 207 million international flights, twice as many as in 2021. Articles related to travel for wellbeing, reducing stress and connecting with nature generated 11% of interest.
We read to remember
This year we have once again been participants in world events that will go down in history. In September, we witnessed the end of one of the longest reigns in history. The death of Queen Elizabeth II of England resulted in a 63% increase in interest in articles related to the Queen’s life and her funeral.
2022 also marked the end of two iconic eras in the tennis world. Serena Williams played her last match at the US Open and Roger Federer waved goodbye to professional tennis at the Laver Cup in London.
We read to celebrate
Personalities like Serena and Federer, with inspiring stories of sacrifice and triumph, also bring us together. We celebrate their successes and make them our own, whether in the world of sports with the Golden State Warriors's victory in the NBA finals or music with Olivia Rodrigo winning seven awards at the Billboard Music Awards. Events such as Real Madrid's victory in the Champions League final allow us to escape from the day to day and enjoy moments that thrill us. In fact, 16% of the total interest in articles related to football during the second quarter of 2022 came from the Champions League final.
We read in the hope of a better tomorrow
We keep reading, staying informed and keeping up with the latest updates because, despite all the bad news, we always hope to find the good news stories. And we always do.
The news about COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian and economic crises have been followed by more positive stories, such as how the Australian government approved the first climate change legislation in a decade or how 28,000 women applied for 30 jobs driving trains after they are advertised for women in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Stories such as these or the news of the founder of Patagonia donating his entire company to charity, have increased positivity in related articles by 97%.
Because together we have the power to improve our present and build a great future. Together we will continue to be part of history.
To more years full of life, love and learning.
The best is yet to come.
POWERED BY LIZ©