The Top 10 Top 10

One of the most puzzling and abiding mysteries of journalism is why every news organization on the planet feels compelled to end each year with a Top 10 list for the preceding 12 months.

From the Top 10 News Stories and the Top 10 People to the Top 10 Video Games and the Top 10 "best moments in celebrity activism" (thank you, L.A. Times), there's no greater universal cliche in journalism (media dirty secret: the practical reasons for the popularity of lists are: a) along with the month of August, the winter holidays consistently rank as the slowest news time of the year, and b) most of the staff is on vacation so poor, overworked and underpaid editors desperately need SOMETHING to fill up pages and air time and they're not all that fussy about what it is).

A Google news search of "Top 10" and "2008" yields 123,724 hits from which to choose your best-of year-end lists, but not to worry: the full force of CL's vast news gathering staff and resources is selflessly dedicated to the proposition that We Read This Stuff So You Don't Have To.

With best wishes for 2009, here are my Top 10 Top 10 Lists of 2008:

10- Top 10 World Stories according to Xinhuan the largest news source in China.

9- The Top 10 Weird Stories from Fox News.

8-The Top 10 Religion Stories from Scripps News Service.

7- The Top 10 Shocking Celebrity Moments from ABC-TV, L.A.

6-The Top 10 Green Engineering Stories chosen by Design News.

5-The Top 10 You Tubes according to Huffington Post.

4-The Top 10 Natural Health Stories from Natural News.

3-The Top 10 Stories About the Decline of Newspapers from Editor and Publisher.

2-The Top 10 Media Blunders of Campaign '08 from Politico.

1-The Top 10 Moments in Baseball according to the San Jose Examiner.

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night. See you in 2009.

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