What was the top news story of 2012?

December 17, 2012


(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Veronique Pozner, left, embraces a young girl as she arrives at B'nai Israel Cemetery for burial services for her 6-year-old son Noah Pozner in Monroe, Conn. Noah was killed when Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday in Newtown, Conn., and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.

We like to make lists. I'm not sure why humans have this desire to rank things.

A National Public Radio report says a big reason is because lists bring order to chaos. If that's so, there's nothing more chaotic than current events.

The chaos felt particularly awful this past week with the killings in Connecticut. We have no words to express such pain and sorrow.

Instead, we just make lists. Lists of worst mass killings. Lists of worst school shootings. Lists of lists.

Perhaps that's OK. Another reason offered by NPR's report is that lists "help us relieve stress and focus the mind."

For some reason, though, I didn't feel relieved when I saw the Associated Press email asking me to update my list of the top news stories of the year in light of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Most editors already had cast their ballots for this annual ritual, but clearly this story tops most, if not all, for the year.

I think I'll pass on making this list.