SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) Islamic State terrorism was the top story across the globe in 2014, one-third of Canadians say.
According to an Ipsos Reid poll, IS terrorism acts and the war in Iraq was the highest ranked international news story of the past year among Canadians, 33 per cent of whom picked the story for the top spot.
The Ebola outbreak in Africa was a close second, as 30 per cent of Canadians felt it was the top story for 2014. The end-of-year poll was conducted online by Ipsos Reid between Dec. 16-19 on behalf of Global News. The survey sampled 1,005 Canadians from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel.
The disparity between the two choices is small, but varies slightly by demographic. The polling results revealed that women (35 per cent) were nine per cent more likely than men (26 per cent) to declare the Ebola outbreak as the top story, whereas men (35 per cent) were only slightly more likely than women (31 per cent) to list ISIS in the top spot.
Age was seemingly an important factor in determining the biggest story of the past year. Canadians 55 or older (40 per cent) were found to be significantly more likely to pick the IS story than those aged 35-54 (30 per cent) or 18-34 (28 cent).
British Columbians and Albertans felt Ebola was a bigger story on average than the rest of the country, with 38 per cent of each province’s polled population choosing the outbreak story. Atlantic Canadians (41 per cent) were more likely on average than the rest of the country to choose IS.
Two international stories tied for a distant third place. Nine per cent of Canadians felt the top news story was the Russian takeover of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. The same percentage chose the double Malaysian Airlines disasters – one plane missing in the Indian Ocean, the other shot down over Ukraine.
Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group in Africa that kidnapped 276 girls, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics, were next in the order, each garnering five per cent of the vote.
Other stories that ranked in the polling results included the summer Israeli-Palestinian conflict (four per cent), Philae, the European Space Agency Probe that successfully landed on a comet (four per cent), the capsizing of a Korean ferry killing 290 people (two per cent), and the trial of former Olympian Oscar Pistorius in South Africa (less than one per cent).