Visualizing 2021’s Endless News Cycle
If 2021 seems like a blur, it was. Between an ‘insurrection’ at the Capitol building, a Texas snowstorm, Brood X cicadas, the Olympics, a stuck container ship in the Suez Canal… not to mention endless COVID variants and government-imposed restrictions – it’s been a busy year.
To help visualize this roller coaster, Axios is out with their fifth annual Google Trends chart.
As Axios writes, overall, most major events or issues this year only managed to keep America’s attention for one or two weeks.
The death of Larry King, sex trafficking allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Suez Canal debacle, Israel’s bombing of a building housing the AP, and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban each had about two weeks when they made up high percentages of Google searches — before attention started to move elsewhere.
There were some exceptions, including in mid-March when searches for “Stop Asian Hate” surged for multiple weeks in response to the Atlanta spa killings and in mid-April when the coronavirus ravaged India.
The single topic to receive the highest percentage of Google searches all year was the Olympics, during the week of its opening ceremonies. Next came searches about stimulus checks at the very start of the year, followed by searches related to Trump during the week of Jan. 6.
As the chart above shows, America’s short attention spans and rapid breaking news cycles continue.
Thu, 12/30/2021 – 13:45