This year brought good stories, bad stories and a whole lot of change

Steve Bartlett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

There were few slow news days in 2011.

Having a spring federal election and a fall provincial vote will do that.

So will the planning for a multibillion-dollar development like Muskrat Falls, having the fishery on the brink of major change, getting an American Hockey League team back and a visit from Russell Crowe or Shannon Tweed.

These, and hundreds of other events and topics, kept our journalists on the hop during the past 365 days.

But what were the top stories of the year?

We put it to a vote in The Telegram newsroom.

You may agree or disagree with the results, but that’s normal because there is no right, wrong or definitive answer.

There are just opinions, and we'd like to read yours in the comment section below.

Share your top stories of the year, or tell us which topics you’d like to go away in 2012, or even make bold predictions.

To read our choices, grab your coffee or tea and read our countdown from 15 to 1 that follows. (To read the list illustrated with related newspaper clippings, click here. The final two pages of this article include links to our most web-visited stories of the year, as well as a list of some of the people we lost in 2011.)


15) Mass KISSteria. They were the hottest band in Newfoundland — on July 9, anyway. Kiss attracted some 26,000 to the Salmon Festival, thrilling fans with explosions, fireworks, a little blood and some classic rock staples. The concert’s $42,000 surplus had organizers of the Grand Falls-Windsor festival shouting it out loud and rock ’n’ rolling all night. They’re hoping to produce a concert of similar magnitude in 2012. (One reporter requests The Wurzels.) Along with Kiss came Markland-born Shannon Tweed, partner of bassist Gene Simmons. After the concert, the former Playboy Playmate of the Year travelled to St. John’s to film an episode of “Republic of Doyle.” Simmons came with her for a few days, even though their relationship had apparently hit the rocks over his indiscretions. Still, the couple married Oct. 1, with the nuptials later airing on their reality show, “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”

14) Did you hear the one about the Lieutenant Governor? During the swearing-in of the province’s cabinet Oct. 28, Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie sparked national controversy (hardly the first time in his 80 years) for a joke about a guy who rang a suicide hotline and reached a call centre in Pakistan. “When I told them I was suicidal,” Crosbie’s punch line went, “they got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.” Many of the Progressive Conservative ministers and MHAs at Government House laughed, but a range of people — from the president of Memorial’s Pakistani Students Association to Premier Kathy Dunderdale — deemed it inappropriate. A debate ensued about the appropriateness of dark humour from public figures. Crosbie said the joke was about the struggling U.S. economy, that the terrorism reference wasn’t the point. He later offered a conditional apology.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Scott
    January 01, 2012 - 15:23

    Bob You sound like a man who got the world by the tail...But if you took the time to look around,you see here in the province,that everything isn't ROSELY,As for Ms Dunderdale, didn't matter who was the head of the party,They still would have got a majority mandate, Just take a look at the NDP or Liberal, Would anybody give them a majority, answer is NO.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    December 31, 2011 - 09:00

    In the case of Premier Dunderdale the old saying the more things change the more they stay the same applies. She is nothing more than a hand picked clone of Danny Williams. Accountable to no one.

    • Bob
      December 31, 2011 - 17:59

      She is the same as anyone...she is accountable to the people who put her there. Danny did put her there temporarily but she got a clear majority mandate of her own in October. And for the 7 years that Danny was there Dunderdale was always one of his strong cabinet ministers. Lets everyone give her a chance. From where i sit the province looks in pretty good shape...