Williams, Bieber top newsmakers of 2010: poll

Russell Williams
The much-scrutinized, often sensational and spine-chilling sentencing of
convicted rapist and murderer Russell Williams made the former
commanding officer the top newsmaker of 2010, according to a new poll.

An Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by Postmedia News and Global National surveyed 1,044 online participants, who were asked to choose from a list of 12 people who they deemed most worthy of the title (the margin of error is +/-3.1).
Justin Bieber
Williams captured 26% of voters, with doe-eyed Stratford native Justin Bieber narrowly beating out Prime Minister Stephen Harper (they received 13% and 12%, respectively, as Bieber’s legions of 15-year-olds and his it-could-happen-to-You! leap of fame from YouTube to, well, everywhere, compete with the Olympics and G20.)

Fourth place is the border-ambiguous WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (10%) — which should come as no surprise for anyone reading any journalism sites these past few months. In his attempt to make whistleblowing sexy again, he’s stirred up debate about ethics and responsibility and arguments about what, exactly, makes someone a journalist.

Sarah Palin

There’s something about former vice-presidential candidate/potential future presidential candidate Sarah Palin that Canadians just can’t get enough of (feeling superior to the South — and, er, Alaska — is a national past time, after all.) She came in 5th with 9%. 

A handful of people got just a few votes:

-former Governor General Michaelle Jean (8%),
-Canadian citizen Omar Khadr who is being held in Guantanamo Bay (7%),
-Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (6%)
-CEO of the Vancouver Olympics Organizing Committee John Furlong (5%)
-Governor General David Johnston (1%),
-former Veterans Ombudsman Pat Stogran (1%)
-former Conservative Cabinet Minister Helena Guergis (0% — rounded down).

Women choose slightly differently than men:

Women’s Choice for Newsmaker

    * Russell Williams (27%)
    * Justin Bieber (16%)
    * Sarah Palin (11%)
    * Stephen Harper (9%)
    * Michaelle Jean (8%)

Men’s Choice for Newsmaker

    * Russell Williams (25%)
    * Stephen Harper (15%)
    * Julian Assange (14%)
    * Justin Bieber (9%)
    * Sarah Palin & Omar Khadr (tied 7%)

When broken down by age and location, the results shift again: the 18-34 crowd choose Bieber, Williams and Zuckerberg as their top three, while the over-55 set choose Williams, Harper and Michaelle Jean. While recipients from most of Canada overwhelming voted Williams as the top newsmaker, British Columbians choose Furlong, and one in five Albertans endure Bieber fever.