fbpx

2020 YEAR IN REVIEW

We've wrapped up the biggest stories from each month, and pulled out the most clicked items in the Squiz Today email. You're welcome... So let's take a look back on the year that was 2020.

January

The Big Stories

• Suffering through the Black Summer - The numbers don’t convey the horror. But by the time fires across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia were done, 33 people had died, 24 million hectares of land was burnt (but an incredible mission saved the Wollemi pines), more than 3,000 homes destroyed, and three billion animals were killed or displaced. Cost = $10 billion. 

• Hello, coronavirus - A new SARS-like coronavirus spread rapidly from Wuhan, China. By the end of the month, the World Health Organisation had declared a public health emergency of international concern, global markets were falling, and uncertainty is the new black. 

• Megxit - Harry and Meghan made a shock announcement to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.” It didn’t quite work out that way...

The Most Clicked

An unlikely love story. About parrots.

February

The Big Stories

• Australia blocks arrivals from China as global pandemic fears grow - Our government stopped foreign arrivals from mainland China while allowing Australians and permanent residents to get home. By the end of February, Oz has recorded 23 coronavirus cases. 

• Family violence that shocked Australia - Former NRL player Rowan Baxter murdered his estranged wife Hannah Clarke, 3 children - Aaliyah (6yo), Laianah (4yo) and Trey (3yo) - and killed himself on a residential street of Brisbane. It led to calls for more to be done to address family and domestic violence across the country. 

• US Senate knocks back the opportunity to turf President Donald Trump - Remember impeachment? The Republican-controlled Senate rejected the charges that US President Donald Trump abused the powers of his office and obstructed Congress.

The Most Clicked

It’s a video of a dog flunking out of service dog school. Poor Ryker…

March

The Big Stories

COVID-19 officially a pandemic - Europe becomes the world’s new virus epicentre, with Italy, Spain and France the worst hit and country-wide lockdowns announced. In Australia, the Ruby Princess cruise ship disembarked passengers in Sydney in a notable bungle by officials. Australia closed its borders, strict lockdown measures were enforced, thousands lost their jobs, and we ran out of toilet paper and pasta. On the plus side: say hello to JobKeeper… 

A challenger emerges - Super Tuesday saw former Vice President Joe Biden become the frontrunner to challenge US President Donald Trump after winning nine of the 14 primaries, rolling over Bernie Sanders. 

• Australia wins the Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup - An impressive 85 run victory over India played out in front of a massive crowd of 86,174 people - just short of the world record of 90,186. It was 2020’s last big crowd to attend a major sporting event anywhere in the world...

The Most Clicked

This pic of the Sussexes in their last days of being senior royals. Because who can resist a bit of Meghan/Harry?

If you're new to what we do at The Squiz, sign up to The Squiz Today - a free weekday email that's in your inbox at 6 am. It's your shortcut to the news.

April

The Big Stories

The US and UK struggle with COVID - And President Donald Trump moves to blame China while pulling funding to the World Health Organisation. Meanwhile, the UK struggles to contain the spread of the virus as PM Boris Johnson is also hospitalised

Australia leads the charge for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus - Which has consequences for our relationship with China that reverberate for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, we remain locked down in an effort to ‘flatten the curve’...

• Cardinal George Pell’s child abuse conviction is overturned - All 7 High Court Justices supported the decision saying “the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.”

The Most Clicked

Barbie marries One Directioner Louis Tomlinson. Ken came to the wedding but was turfed out after he drank too much. Or so goes this incredible photoshoot

May

The Big Stories

Australia faces record unemployment - The coronavirus crisis claimed another ugly record with 594,300 jobs lost across Australia in April - the largest monthly fall on record. There was some good news - the NRL restarted… Further afield, the world rallied around an independent review into COVID-19, something China’s not that thrilled about.

And here come the recriminations - China effectively ended Australia’s barley exports announcing it will impose tariffs totalling 80% on the grain. China says the move is unrelated to Australia’s call for a coronavirus inquiry. 

• George Floyd’s death sparks wave of racial protests - At the end of the month, a wave of protest follows the death of the 46yo African-American man at the hands of police in the US city of Minneapolis. It sparked violent protests in cities across America and put a spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Most Clicked

Crabs on an airport luggage carousel. That’s not code for anything…

June

The Big Stories

China’s really got a beef with Oz - Claims of racism, the blocking of some of our beef, and threats from its ambassador in Canberra were leveled at Australia. Yikes… 

COVID was on the march in Melbourne… - Locations of concern were pinpointed and Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton said that “We are at a point where we have to turn it around or the numbers will get beyond us”... Meanwhile, the AFL got its show back on the road.  

• Black Lives Matter protests rage - Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver and St Louis were some of the US cities that saw peaceful protests during the day, and violence at night. Australia rated a mention when a journo and camo from Channel 7 were targeted by law enforcement officers who were clearing a park for US President Donald Trump to pose for pictures holding a bible.

The Most Clicked

New Zealand’s public service announcement that rather masterfully tackled a… ahem… rather delicate subject

Want to know what happened on a particular news day? You can explore the Squiz Archives here - every edition we've published, for all your 'On This Day' needs.

July

The Big Stories

Victoria hit by a second wave - The start of the month saw a full lockdown of 9 public housing towers in Melbourne. Not long after, the border between NSW and Victoria was closed for the first time in 100 years, and all Melburnians were told to stay at home.  

China cracks down on Hong Kong - Hong Kong’s autonomy vanished with China passing a security law that gives it new powers that makes it impossible for locals to support pro-democratic and independence movements without risking long jail terms. Australia, the UK, the US and other democracies expressed their concern. 

Facebook told to #StopHateForProfit - A byproduct of the weeks of racial turmoil in the US, some major advertisers pulled their spending to support civil rights groups’ push to make the social media giant more responsive to the spread of hate speech and misinformation. 

The Most Clicked

Online shopping order errors, like this person who bought 16kg of flour…

August

The Big Stories

COVID wreaks havoc here - As case numbers continue to surge in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews significantly stepped up restrictions as he declared the state’s second-ever state of disaster. Questions about how cases leaked out of the state’s hotel quarantine program heated up. There are also questions about the handling of cases in aged care homes.

Lebanon’s government resigns after the deadly Beirut blast - More than 200 people died, 6,500 were injured, and 300,000 people were made homeless from the blast that shook Lebanon’s capital like an earthquake. PM Hassan Diab laid blame at the feet of the “long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country.” 

• Prominent Putin critic targeted - Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok. Evidence is mounting that he was targeted by government agents seeking to stamp out the government’s critics.

The Most Clicked

Remember the Italian girls who played tennis from the top of their apartment blocks during the lockdown? Tennis great Roger Federer had a hit with them, and it’s glorious.

If podcasting is more your thing, subscribe to The Squiz Today podcast for a 6 am audio news briefing. Or check out our Squiz Shortcuts series, where we give you the background and context to the big news stories, personalities and historical events that need some explaining, in 10 minute podcast episodes.

September

The Big Stories

Oz-China relations plummet even further - High-profile Australian television anchor for the Chinese Government’s English news channel, Cheng Lei, was detained in Beijing and later accused of undermining the country’s national security. And later in the month, the ABC’s Bill Birtles and the Financial Review‘s Michael Smith left China with the Australian Government’s assistance after being told they were ‘persons of interest’ in the Cheng case. 

Oz falls into recession - The release of Australia’s national accounts revealed the biggest quarterly decline in economic growth on record and confirmed we are in our first recession for 29 years. Since then, we’ve recorded a quarter of growth, so the recession’s technically over. But there’s a long road of recovery to go… 

• And the US Open looked very different this year - With a depleted field of competitors and sans crowd and media, the US Open was the first major tennis outing since January’s Aussie Open. It was also notable for world #1 men’s tennis star Novak Djokovic being kicked out after he had a brain snap and whacked a ball – accidentally – into the throat of a line umpire.

The Most Clicked

Sometimes close relationships break down and you never get a clear reason why. For one divorcee, the famed New York Times weddings section featuring her ex gave her some answers

October

The Big Stories

Trump gets COVID - Yep. The severity of US President Donald Trump’s illness was downplayed, and there was some alarm over him receiving an “experimental antibody cocktail” while receiving treatment in a military hospital. Which sounds like the plot to a terrible political fantasy novel…. 

Meanwhile in Victoria - Come the end of the month, Melbourne’s lockdown was eased. And they were big winners on the sporting circuit: the Melbourne Storm took the NRL Premiership, Richmond won the AFL flag, and the Melbourne Vixens were Super Netball champs. 

A terror killing rocks France - The grizzly murder of 47yo school teacher Samuel Paty saw President Emmanuel Macron defend freedom of expression and take a toughened stance on radical Islam - a move that was condemned by Muslim-majority nations, with some seeing protests and boycotts of French goods.

The Most Clicked

Our Princess Mary's eldest son Prince Christian turned 15yo, and new official pics were released to mark the day, and gee you could pick him out as a Donaldson in a lineup.

Squiz Kids - a news podcast for curious kids. Delivering age-appropriate news with positivity and humour. The Squiz Kids podcast is out each weekday at 7 am. Check it out.

November

The Big Stories

Biden wins the US Election, Trump refuses to concede - What a rollercoaster ride… Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris became the first woman and person of colour to be elected vice president. Not that Trump has conceded defeat as he continues to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. 

Vaccine breakthroughs - Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna announced their vaccines can prevent more than 90% of people from getting COVID-19 - an amazing achievement given the timeframe. Both are being rolled out in hotspots like the US and UK, and Australia will start a program in March. 

Afghan war crimes report released - After 4 years of investigation, it was recommended that 19 elite soldiers be investigated for the murders of up to 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians, and the cruel treatment of two others. And there could be more… Chief of Defence General Angus Campbell used words like ‘shameful’, ‘appalling’ and ‘toxic’ to describe the actions of some soldiers and the culture they operated in. 

The Most Clicked

Oh Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, how manky are thy branches…

December

The Big Stories

COVID Christmas cluster-disaster - Just when we were cruising, Sydney’s Northern Beaches became home to an outbreak of the coronavirus that put the area into lockdown and Greater Sydney and surrounding regions under restrictions to limit crown numbers. Across the country, border bans and quarantine requirements were back up sooner than you could say ‘dammit’... 

• China really comes at us - A Chinese foreign ministry official posted a fake image to Twitter portraying an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child sparking an outraged response from PM Scott Morrison. On the trade front - our government confirmed it would go to the world trade umpire over the tariffs put on barley exports. 

• World-first media laws - The Morrison Government introduced its plan into the parliament that would see Google and Facebook pay Australia’s news media outlets for their content. Just as regulators and lawmakers the US, the UK and Europe also had a go… 

The Most Clicked

The best Christmas ad of 2020? You got it.

And THAT is the news wrap from 2020.

Loved it? Share with your people on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

Want to test your news knowledge? Try our Squiz Quizzes. Or put on The Great Big Squiz Quiz, Podcast Edition if you want to have some fun with friends and family.

Sign up to The Squiz

The Squiz is a free weekday email sent at 6.00am each weekday. It's your shortcut to being informed about the news headlines. Onboard?


We’re Very Social

["ts"]
["ts"]