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Trivia: Significant news stories that were kept off the top spot by another story

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PTR 444

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The thought came to me that because Covid has dominated the headlines this year, it has meant a lot of other significant events have been kept off the "main story" spot for many news channels. Examples include Brexit, the US presidential election, and Harry and Megan quitting royal duties. Obviously, all three have been ongoing events so they may have held the top spot on certain days, but Covid has dominated the headlines much more, and this has meant that some genuine newsworthy events have failed to make the top spot. For example, the death of Sean Connery was overshadowed by news of the incoming Lockdown 2.0 announcement, which broke just a few minutes earlier. Coincidentally, Roger Moore's death was also relegated to 2nd place in most news bulletins since it took place within 24 hours of the Manchester Arena bombing (22/5/17).

These are just some examples, but I would be interested to hear about other significant events that could have made the top spot but failed to do so due to another event. You can go as far back in time as you like with this, however I would discourage listing events that aren't really newsworthy and were just in the top spots because there was nothing more significant to report that day (slow news day).
 
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Mag_seven

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The Wembley Central train crash that happened on the evening of 11th October 1984. Would have been the major news story the following morning were it not for the Brighton hotel bombing in the early hours of the 12th that saw the IRA attempt to assassinate the then Conservative cabinet under Margaret Thatcher.
 

C J Snarzell

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I seem to remember Mother Theresa's death in 1997 didn't even cause a ripple as she died a few days after Princess Diana. The news was completely dominated by the Paris tragedy right up until after Diana's funeral on the 6th September.

CJ
 

Ianno87

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These would have been the main stories (in the US at least) on September 11th 2001 if something else hadn't have happened


In the UK, the leading story immediately prior was the Holy Cross dispute in Northern Ireland (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Cross_dispute), that had flared up again with the new school year.

The Holy Cross dispute occurred in 2001 and 2002 in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, Northern Ireland. During the 30-year conflict known as the Troubles, Ardoyne had become segregated – Ulster Protestants and Irish Catholics lived in separate areas. This left Holy Cross, a Catholic primary school for girls, in the middle of a Protestant area. In June 2001—during the last week of school before the summer break—Protestant loyalists began picketing the school, claiming that Catholics were regularly attacking their homes and denying them access to facilities.

(Political side note: Still bothers me that ardent Brexiteers still want to risk this sort of thing coming back again)
 

Calthrop

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The death of Farrah Fawcett in 2009 soon being relegated later on in the same day when Michael Jackson passed away.

A comparable situation a number of decades ago, but with a three-way coincidence -- the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy on 22nd November 1963; and the deaths on the same day, but "natural" after average-length lifetimes, of two British writers / thinkers, polar opposites of each other: C.S. Lewis, orthodox (small "o") Christian; and Aldous Huxley, secular social commentator with a pessimistic bent. The drama / shock of the killing of Kennedy overshadowed the deaths of the latter two, other than for their respective devotees.
 

brad465

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The thought came to me that because Covid has dominated the headlines this year, it has meant a lot of other significant events have been kept off the "main story" spot for many news channels. Examples include Brexit, the US presidential election, and Harry and Megan quitting royal duties. Obviously, all three have been ongoing events so they may have held the top spot on certain days, but Covid has dominated the headlines much more, and this has meant that some genuine newsworthy events have failed to make the top spot. For example, the death of Sean Connery was overshadowed by news of the incoming Lockdown 2.0 announcement, which broke just a few minutes earlier. Coincidentally, Roger Moore's death was also relegated to 2nd place in most news bulletins since it took place within 24 hours of the Manchester Arena bombing (22/5/17).

These are just some examples, but I would be interested to hear about other significant events that could have made the top spot but failed to do so due to another event. You can go as far back in time as you like with this, however I would discourage listing events that aren't really newsworthy and were just in the top spots because there was nothing more significant to report that day (slow news day).
From memory the US election this year was top (certainly on the BBC pages) when counting started and when Biden was projected victorious. There were a few days in the middle which were less significant for that event. Also Sir Sean Connery's death was top for several hours before lockdown 2 was announced from memory.

However, on the last day of being in the EU, there was a period of time that the first confirmed Covid cases in the UK dominated, before the former returned to top at the time of officially leaving.

Also I'd say 2020 is as much a year for celebrity deaths as 2016 was overall, but because of Covid and in particular all its restrictions, most won't have thought of 2020 in the same way.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Does anyone know what was the bad news they tried to bury?
Wondered whether it was Railtrack plc about to be placed into receivership?

Or was the scandal just about special adviser Jo Moore asking the question?
 
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Gloster

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Does anyone know what was the bad news they tried to bury?
I don’t think it was anything specific, although councillors’ expenses was suggested, just anything that they wanted to sneak out. ‘A good time to bury bad news’ seems to have been, like Terry Worrall’s ‘wrong kind of snow’, not to have been said in so many words by the person to whom it is usually attributed. I have a feeling that placing Railtrack into receivership had been announced the day before.
 

SteveM70

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To be honest i have been trying to forget him!

Does anyone know what was the bad news they tried to bury?

i can’t remember that, but I do remember the then shadow transport Secretary was one Theresa May
 

317 forever

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Wondered whether it was Railtrack plc about to be placed into receivership?

Or was the scandal just about special adviser Jo Moore asking the question?

Railtrack was finally put into administration on the evening of Saturday October 6th 2001 but yes, there had been talk of a good day to bury bad news on September 11th.

When singer James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 it got less coverage than usual, probably because it was Christmas.
 

C J Snarzell

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The Andrew Mitchell 'Plebgate' scandal became a huge press story but when it first broke in the media on the 19th September 2012, it didn't even cause a raised eyebrow because it was overshadowed by the barbaric execution of two police women in Tameside, Greater Manchester the day before.

CJ
 

xotGD

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When singer James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 it got less coverage than usual, probably because it was Christmas.
I always think it is the opposite - someone passing away at Christmas gets extra news coverage as there is nothing else to report apart from the royals going to church and the Queen's broadcast.
 

nlogax

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The fallout from bad news burying never ceases to surprise me. It's like everyone has a temporary brain fart caused by the distraction and they're hugely surprised when the original story reappears like a bad smell. Attention spans are crazy small these days.
 

MP33

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Barry Took of Points of View died around the same time as the Queen Mother. Jonathon King was convicted on the same day as 9/11.

I can remember on John Craven's newsround there was a pretty unbelievable Science story on April 1st. John Craven was at pains pointing out it was not an April fool.

I always thought that when they did a review of the people who died throughout the year, anyone who died from Boxing Day to New Years Eve was always overlooked.
 

C J Snarzell

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Speaking of 9/11 - another big story that was swept aside was the Major Ingram coughing scandal on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' which was broadcast just before the New York atrocities.

CJ
 

MP33

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I believe after the trial the coughing episode was shown. There was one point when the accomplice coughed out a clear No. I thought it was the same as if the question was who won the FA Cup in 1971? Arsenal would be coughed out in Eric Morecambe style.
 

Ianno87

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Speaking of 9/11 - another big story that was swept aside was the Major Ingram coughing scandal on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' which was broadcast just before the New York atrocities.

CJ

I don't think that episode was ever broadcast, however, the ITV Tonight did an episode called "Major Fraud" in its title.

I believe after the trial the coughing episode was shown. There was one point when the accomplice coughed out a clear No. I thought it was the same as if the question was who won the FA Cup in 1971? Arsenal would be coughed out in Eric Morecambe style.

The episode would have been broadcast on the evening of 11th September, but was pulled.

I think the production team then realised the suspicious activity before there was chance to reschedule the episode.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The Andrew Mitchell 'Plebgate' scandal became a huge press story but when it first broke in the media on the 19th September 2012, it didn't even cause a raised eyebrow because it was overshadowed by the barbaric execution of two police women in Tameside, Greater Manchester the day before.

CJ

In that instance, the death of the two policewomen who had been lured into a prepared ambush by a known criminal ready armed with an automatic weapon, was one that most people in their right mind would without hesitation see as the major of the two news stories.
 

Ianno87

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In that instance, the death of the two policewomen who had been lured into a prepared ambush by a known criminal ready armed with an automatic weapon, was one that most people in their right mind would without hesitation see as the major of the two news stories.

I don't think anybody would disagree with you, but 'Plebgate' became quite a major news story for some time afterwards.

Oh to be back in those days of news, rather than Br*x*t and C*v*d.
 

C J Snarzell

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I don't think anybody would disagree with you, but 'Plebgate' became quite a major news story for some time afterwards.

Oh to be back in those days of news, rather than Br*x*t and C*v*d.

What I found fascinating about Plebgate it started as a very minor somewhat insignificant incident where a few verbal remarks where allegedly exchanged. Then it just completely snowballed into a complete s**t storm for both Parliament and the Met Police - suspensions, imprisonments and resignations. Amazing.

CJ
 

Ianno87

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What I found fascinating about Plebgate it started as a very minor somewhat insignificant incident where a few verbal remarks where allegedly exchanged. Then it just completely snowballed into a complete s**t storm for both Parliament and the Met Police - suspensions, imprisonments and resignations. Amazing.

CJ

Should have been a simple:

"Politician says something stupid in heat of moment (like we all do sometimes)"

"Politician apologies"

"World moves on".

But no....
 

backontrack

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Excepting COVID-19, the climate emergency should be the top news item every single day. It never is.
 
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