By Marcus Mabry, Senior Vice President, Digital Editorial and Programming
2022 was not just another year that tried patience and frayed nerves, it was historic and deadly. Russian President Vladimir Putin did what was unimaginable to many, launching the largest land war in Europe since World War II. All too common horrors were unleashed once more on American schoolchildren in Uvalde, Texas, and in many, many other mass shootings in the United States. And, inevitably, luminaries who brought light to our lives were extinguished.
When news breaks, the world comes to CNN, as it has for more than 40 years on television and more than 25 years on digital platforms. On average, more than 165 million of you came to CNN Digital from around the globe every month in 2022, according to Comscore.
The war in Ukraine dominated the year like no other news, proving, as the pandemic has, that our interests are global and our news coverage needs to be, too. Six of our top 10 stories (and 32 of our top 100) were Ukraine live stories that followed the twists and turns of the day’s news, including the incomparable coverage from CNN’s teams on the ground, often in the line of fire.
Early in the conflict, I wrote an analysis explaining the limits of what the US and its allies would and would not do in Ukraine. Those limits have been contentious from the start and are only growing more so today as Russia accuses the West of going too far.
The other stories among our top 10 most read, watched or listened to were the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, our election night streaming of CNN’s TV coverage of the midterms and our digital pages of up-to-the-second results from hundreds of races.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade and its impact on women’s lives and US politics were a recurring top story, as were the numerous mass shootings and natural disasters.
Interest and fear surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic waned as the pandemic itself did, but the last weeks of the year have brought new worries, especially in China. History has taught us that pandemic developments know no borders.
Entertainment news brought millions of you to CNN. Our top entertainment story was the tragic death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the amiable DJ for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” There were bright moments too: like the Good Samaritans that made a difference in the lives of strangers.
As 2022 draws to a close, we look back over the pictures of the year, the top pop culture stories and the (much-needed) best feel-good stories too!
For those playing along at home, every piece on our Top 100 Stories list this year received more than 3 million visits, according to our internal data.
Thank you for being here with us through it all. We promise we will be here for you in 2023, for every breaking news story and for every piece of joy, delight and triumph.
1. Live story: Russia invades Ukraine
2. Live story: Russia faces stiff resistance
3. House of Representatives Results: GOP wins the majority
4. Live story: The battle for Kyiv has begun
5. Live story: Massive explosions light up the night sky near Kyiv as Ukrainian forces repel Russia
6. Live story: 40-mile-long Russian military convoy reaches the outskirts of Kyiv
7. Live story: Russia attacks Ukraine
8. Live story: Midterm Election Night results
9. Senate Results: Democrats secure majority
10. Live story: Deadly shooting at Texas elementary school
11. Live story: Midterm elections, Day 2
12. Live story: Russia warns of “high-precision” strikes
13. Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, DJ for ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ dead at 40
14. Live story: Fire erupts in Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
15. Live story: The death of Queen Elizabeth II
16. Legal victory for Johnny Depp after he and Amber Heard found liable for defamation
17. Live story: Russia forces occupy Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
18. A single winning ticket for the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot was sold in California
19. Gunman at a Texas elementary school kills 19 students and two adults before being fatally shot, officials say
20. Live story: Discrepancies over how long gunman was on school premises in Uvalde before law enforcement entered a classroom and killed him
21. Live story: Ukrainian President Zelensky asked US lawmakers’ help in establishing a no-fly zone
22. Will Smith hit Chris Rock on Oscars telecast
23. Live story: Hurricane Ian makes landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm
24. Alabama corrections officer who escaped with inmate has died in hospital, sheriff says
25. Uber driver who got a hotel room for teen passenger after being stuck on I-95 gets offered a new job
26. Anne Heche’s son mourns mother: ‘We have lost a bright light’
27. Live story: Russian military strike hit a civilian evacuation crossing point outside of Kyiv, killing at least eight people, including two children
28. Tsunami advisories issued in US after waves hit Tonga following volcanic eruption
29. Bob Saget, comedian and ‘Full House’ star, dead at 65
30. Olivia Newton-John, singer and actress, dead at 73
31. ABC News suspends ‘The View’ host Whoopi Goldberg
32. Aaron Carter, singer, dead at 34
33. Live story: Zelensky said he does not expect his country to join NATO
34. FBI executes search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in document investigation
35. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died, band says
36. Governor race results
37. Live story: Biden announced a ban on Russian energy imports as Ukraine’s President vowed the country will “fight to the end”
38. Live story: More companies cut ties with Russia
39. Live story: Russian airstrikes hit a large base near Lviv, close to the Polish/NATO border
40. Live story: Heavy bombing struck a theater in the besieged city of Mariupol where hundreds of people were reportedly sheltering
41. Live story: US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade
42. Live story: Satellite images show the 40-mile-long Russian convoy near Kyiv has largely been dispersed
43. Live story: Russian forces bombed a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, city officials said
44. Live story: Russia issued a warning it could fire on weapon shipments to Ukraine
45. Uvalde school shooter was in school for up to an hour before law enforcement broke into room where he was barricaded and killed him
46. How to qualify for Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan
47. Will Smith and Chris Rock have a history that predates the Oscars slap
48. Live story: Mass shooting at July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois
49. Live story: Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally ordered Russian troops into two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine
50. As BA.2 subvariant of Omicron rises, lab studies point to signs of severity
51. A huge tunnel has opened below Niagara Falls
52. Anne Heche hospitalized after car crash
53. After the Omicron wave, here’s what experts say could come next in 2022
54. Live story: 10 shot at Brooklyn subway station
55. A Florida man took his grandson magnet fishing. Police are now investigating what they reeled in
56. Live story: Ian has intensified to a Category 1 hurricane as it heads toward South Carolina
57. 6 victims shot and killed in a Virginia Walmart include a 16-year-old boy
58. Live story: Midterm elections, Day 5
59. Live story: Residential building in Kyiv hit by shelling
60. Mehmet Oz concedes Pennsylvania Senate race
61. Live story: Midterm elections, Day 3
62. Live story: Russia expands offensive in western Ukraine
63. Study predicts California megaflood disaster
64. Live story: Warnock wins George runoff election
65. US-born figure skater Zhu Yi under attack after fall in Olympic debut for China
66. The world’s skinniest skyscraper is now complete — and its interiors are remarkable
67. Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins fatally struck by dump trump on Florida highway
68. Explainer: What does Putin want in Ukraine?
69. White House responds to Russia’s decision to put nuclear forces on high alert
70. Live story: Ukraine rejects Russian ultimatum to surrender Mariupol
71. Live story: Biden described “the beginning of a Russian invasion” of Ukraine and announced new sanctions
72. Live story: A month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
73. Live story: Biden said it is “unlikely” missile that landed in Poland was fired from Russia
74. World’s largest plane destroyed in Ukraine
75. Live story: At least 153 killed in Seoul during Halloween parade crowd surge
76. Canadian family taking world tour before children lose their vision
77. Gunman kills 5 at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs
78. Paul Pelosi attacked
79. Live story: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assassinated
80. They bought a Caribbean island to start their own country
81. Live story: Ukraine fighting to retake territory
82. Traffic stop between a White trooper and a Black driver began in fear, ended in kindness
83. Why Old Spice, Colgate and Dawn are locked up at drug stores
84. Live story: Russian warship Moskva sank
85. Will Smith resigns from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences
86. Confessions of a 1980s flight attendant
87. Passenger with no experience landed plane in Florida
88. Live story: Russia fires missiles at Lviv, near the Poland/NATO border
89. Denzel Washington speaks publicly about Will Smith Oscar slap
90. What we know about Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron
91. Trump sides with Putin as Biden tries to stop a war
92. Iran calls for US to be kicked out of 2022 World Cup
93. Authorities found car of missing former corrections official and inmate
94. Live story: Midterm elections, Day 4
95. American journalist Grant Wahl dies after collapsing at Qatar World Cup
96. Live story: Biden heads to Europe for high-stakes summits as Washington formally declared Russia’s military committed war crimes in Ukraine
97. Millions have the same ‘bendy body’ disease as my daughter. Why isn’t the medical profession paying more attention?
98. Student suspect in custody after 3 football players shot dead and 2 people wounded at the University of Virginia
99. The ‘worst variant’ is here
100. Coach dives into pool to rescue American swimmer Anita Alvarez at World Championships
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