The Associated Press is out with its annual list of top 10 stories based on a poll of U.S. editors and news directors. The No. 1 story, according to those polled:
GULF OIL DISASTER: The April 20 explosion at a BP-leased rig killed 11 workers and unleashed a deep-sea spill that ultimately spewed at least 170 million gallons of crude into the Gulf. Consequences included devastation for fishing and tourism industries, a huge and costly cleanup effort, a management change at BP, and creation of a $20 billion fund to pay for damages.
When trying to do my own picks, I'm usually torn between stories that got the biggest coverage and stories that had the most lasting impact. Being an editorial writer, I tend to favor the longterm implications. So, as big a story as the oil spill was, I would probably look elsewhere for No. 1. The health care bill is No. 2 on the AP's list -- that's one that will affect us all -- if it survives court challenges and congressional attempts at killing it. The lousy economy (No. 4) was a big story but a holdover from the previous year. I think I'd combine two others on AP's list -- the U.S. elections at No. 3 and the tea party movement at No. 6 -- into one story and make it my No. 1.