Planet Earth is Blue

January 2016 was a busy month for us to monitor in terms of the news stories which resonated with people. We measured 20 stories in the first month of the year and waiting times in Irish hospitals was again the top story for people, similar to January 2015Health will be a key issue which people will consider when voting in the General Election 2016.

Floods which affected thousands of family homes in December and January was the second most highest story of this period, and rural people rated it the top story.

Stories measured in January 2016

  • Alan Rickman passes away
  • Christy O’Connor passes away
  • David Bowie passes away
  • Fine Gael will set up a citizens’ assembly to discuss the Eighth Amendment
  • First Fortnight mental health festival on in Dublin
  • Flooding along the River Shannon
  • Hundreds of women in Cologne are attacked on New Year’s Eve
  • Irish film industry does well at the Oscars
  • Making a Murderer launches on Netflix
  • Minister Varadkar to introduce minimum alcohol pricing
  • New 2 euro coin to commemorate 1916
  • New planning regulations on apartment sizes
  • Obama aims to tighten laws on gun ownership
  • Oil drops below $30 a barrel
  • Operation Transformation starts again
  • PJ Mara passes away
  • RTE airs Rebellion
  • Sarah Palin supports Donald Trump
  • Vodafone launches TV service
  • Waiting times in Irish hospitals

With the success of Room and Brooklyn amongst others in the Oscar nominations, 70% of Irish people were aware of this story compared to 67% of people aware of RTE airing Rebellion. People also scored the Oscars higher on importance than Rebellion, with an Ignite score of 46.0 to 38.6 respectively.

In World news, 3 in 4 people were aware that Obama spoke out on gun ownership in the USA and rated it high in importance. Less people were aware of Sarah Palin supporting Donald Trump and also rated it less in terms of importance.

The Obama story scored 54.9 in comparison to 31.5 for Sarah Palin.

While only one in three people were aware of the launch of Vodafone TV, compared to two in three who were aware of the return of Operation Transformation, Irish people scored the launch of Vodafone TV as more important than the return of the RTE series.

Finally, five well known personalities passed away at the beginning of 2016. From the world of golf, politics and the stage, these stories resonated with thousands.

While, the world remembered the decades of art and inspiration of David Bowie. Over 90% of the Irish population were aware of the passing of this great artist and sang along to the soundtrack of his life.

Let's dance...




On the last day of the month, Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan also left us and we will include his passing in our next wave.