The lifting of lockdown restrictions and Covid-19 continued to dominate the news agenda according to Core’s Cultural Index for May.
The Index, which tracked over 1,000 news stories in Irish media, also saw a major spike in engagement with news relating to the anti-racism demonstrations that took place, after the death of George Floyd in the USA. According to the Index, 94% of the Irish public were aware of US protests and rated these events as significantly important. Closer to home, 86% of the public were aware of demonstrations that took place in Dublin and also rated this event as important.
According to Core: “These two anti-racism stories, both globaand local, have resonated greatly with people living in Ireland. Across all Cultural Index stories analysed since 2015, these events sit within the top 3% of news stories in terms of significance to people. Specifically, young adults (those aged under 40 years old) believe the anti-racism movement is as important to them as other significant social issues such as same-sex marriage in 2015 and the repealing of the Eighth Amendment in 2018. Given the high level of engagement from the next generation, the conversation about racism in Ireland will continue. The public acknowledge there is a need to reflect and change perceptions about racism in our society.
Elsewhere, another key story in May’s Cultural Index was the cancellation of the Leaving Certificate which attracted considerable media coverage with 90% of the public aware of the development with 69% saying they found it personally important. This awareness rises to 95% in households with teenagers, and 76% of these households deeming this news important.
Another event which was followed by Irish people was the launch of the SpaceX rocket with 84% of the population saying they were aware of this event. It was an event with one of the highest Google search volumes, as Irish public tuned in, and 62% people deemed it to be important.
Other news events to register with Irish people during May included Pieta’s Sunrise Appeal and the Late Late Show’s charity fundraising show. According to the Index, the majority of the population were aware of these events (63% and 57% respectively).
McDonald’s re-opening of Dublin drive-thru operations managed to capture the attention of everyone (89%). Just under half (49%) deemed this to be important, with many craving familiarity.
In addition, other news items and events that registered with consumers included some sporting events including the return of the Bundesliga, the English Premiership and Irish horse-racing.