The year at City A.M.: Our most popular stories of 2014

Catherine Neilan
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City skyline: What got you clicking this year? (Source: Getty)
With everything that has gone on in the last 12 months you might be forgiven the odd memory lapse. Here's our round-up of the stories that got you clicking in 2014.


It's hard to believe it was less than a year ago that French President Hollande was caught having a moped-based affair with actress Julie Gayett. One month prior, however, it was City A.M which was embroiled in its own affaire diplomatique across the Channel. Former editor Allister Heath ruffled several feathers with this opinion piece detailing France's many economic failings, against a backdrop of the Goodyear “boss-napping” and a declining macro environment. The French embassy was none too pleased as this rebuttal showed. Still, we were not going down without a fight – and neither were our readers.


Onto the second month into the year, and we turned our attention from the governments of other nations to rival newspapers. Specifically the Guardian, which was hosting a “mystery advert” based around the joke doge meme and the growing cryptocurrency Dogecoin. While the reasons behind the advert transpired to be more mundane than we hoped, it still proved a popular read.



The crisis in Ukraine was still dominating the news agenda in April and a column suggesting that the situation was laying bare the many problems faced by the West was among your top picks for the month. In particular, the increasingly feeble nature of Europe. Things may have moved on since then, and Russia might not be quite the threat it seemed eight months ago. But as we wrote back then, it very much seemed as though America's Butch Cassidy had lost its Sundance Kid.


In May fears were raised of a possible terror threat after City Police revealed they had closed off the roads surrounding the Bank of England, and a “police robot” deployed, after a suspect car was found in the middle of the road. The City was on lockdown for two hours, causing travel chaos. Eventually the car was deemed “safe” by police and everyone filed back into their offices. But not before taking a few pictures.


With the fizz well and truly out of London's IPO market, it is hard to remember just how much excitement there was around Lloyds' flotation of TSB. But back in June the newly spun-off bank experienced a 13 per cent rise in share price on its first day. The valuation hasn't shifted much – it opened at £1.3bn, and at today's prices is around £1.37bn – but for those banks trying (and in some cases failing) to get their listing away in the autumn, that will still seem impressive.


In July, the second tragedy to strike Malaysian Airlines caught us all off-guard. MH17 went down over eastern Ukraine, and subsequent investigations have since supported the early claim that it was shot down by missiles used by pro-Russian separatists. Although we didn't know it at the time, this was a turning point in the crisis, acting as a catalyst to widespread sanctions imposed by the US and EU against key individuals and companies in Russia.


By August, things were already hotting up north of the border in anticipation of the Scottish referendum, and this column calling out the No campaign over its claims that an independent Scotland would be refused the pound became our most popular article of the month - even though it was first published in March. “Truth is usually the first casualty of political battles, as it is of war,” said our columnist Avinash Persaud. At least some readers seemed to agree.
The referendum continued to dominate throughout September. Although with hindsight it may now seem as though the No campaign had to triumph, it was touch and go for a time, with those seeking to keep the union just scraping to victory in total votes, even if the breakdown by constituency made it look rather more convincing. But that wasn't our only huge story for the month. What with admitting a £250m profit overstatement, and suspending a few executives, Tesco kept us pretty busy too.


Though it had been rumbling on for many months, October was the first month Ebola seemed to hit home for many in the West, and this is when it emerged on our most read list. Perhaps, as this map showed, because of the spread of the disease outside of Africa, with cases emerging in Europe and the US. The panic, however, was disproportionate to the rate of infection – particularly when you consider the impact it has had on countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which are still struggling to control it.


November was a hugely busy month. If you weren't gazing at the Remembrance Poppies at the Tower of London, you may very well have been planning your attack for Black Friday. The US import looks likely to be stealing Boxing Day as the UK's biggest shopping day this year, and there was a huge appetite for stories explaining and exploring the phenomenon. This story, however, sums up why you might have wanted to avoid the whole thing (or at very least, read about it from the comfort of your own desk).


Sticking with retail, our story about Amazon accidentally selling items for 1p really got you clicking, particularly as the Christmas rush had already begun by then. But our top story this month looked at how to trick your kids into thinking they'd seen Santa's sleigh using a particularly bright flyover by the International Space Station. That's festive spirit, right there...

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