Since 1936, the AP has been conducting its annual poll asking editors and news directors their pick for the year’s biggest news story, and had AP asked participants in its 2015 poll to go ahead and predict 2016’s biggest story, the result would probably still have been the the U.S. election.
How could it not be, with all of the investigations and deep reporting eclipsed by even more spectacle and scandal, horserace punditry and obsessive poll analysis that ultimately turned out to be wrong, in the case of the electoral college, at least. “This year’s top story traces back to June 2015, when Donald Trump descended an escalator in Trump Tower, his bastion in New York City, to announce he would run for president,” goes AP’s description. “Widely viewed as a long shot, with an unconventional campaign featuring raucous rallies and pugnacious tweets, he outlasted 16 Republican rivals.”
Syria, with its lifetimes worth of suffering and damage and geopolitical consequences that will continue to radiate out from the the unresolved civil war at its center with increasing intensity, was number eight on the list, behind Democratic party email leaks.
You can check out the full results here.