Top Newsjackers Of 2018
The Chinese New Year has just wrapped up and 2019 welcomes the Year of the Pig. According to the Chinese Zodiac, it is a year of luck and good fortune which gives some people something to look forward to. No matter what the future brings, however, there’s no doubt that 2018 was a good year filled with interesting events and unforgettable people.
Speaking of unforgettable people, there were many of them who really stood out above the rest. Part of the reason some individuals were able to stand out was because they are experts getting media coverage, or hijacking trending topics in the news, often referred to as newsjacking. We cannot list all of them but we picked out five whom we think deserve to be the Top Newsjackers of 2018, not necessarily because of their achievements, but because of their ability to get the media to talk about them.
Donald Trump has been making headlines even before he became the president of the United States. But he made even bigger headlines when he beat Barack Obama and was inaugurated as the 45th US President in 2017.
He had not warmed his presidency seat yet when his detractors and members of the media began their onslaught on him. Aside from external criticisms, Trump himself was the source of the controversy from his tweets to the decisions he made.
Some glaring examples include the United State’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement, backing the Democrats on fiscal deals, and his dealings with North Korea. Not to leave out his “Wall” which is mentioned in the news daily.
On the other hand, he also made some noteworthy decisions which include imposing new sanctions on Iran, expanding domestic energy production, appointing women to head the CIA, and improving the employment rate, especially in the manufacturing industry. Needless to say, whether you agree with him or not, he has expertly manipulated the media into talking about him and giving him endlessly free publicity.
Elon Musk is another person who is no stranger to controversy and he was not short of it in 2018. Some of his most controversial stories include getting investigated and fined by the Stock Exchange Commission after tweeting, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."; smoking pot while getting interviewed on a show, and getting kicked out as the CEO of Tesla.
Whatever Elon Musk does, the media reports. Among his finest (but not less controversial) moments include sending a Tesla car in space and pumping out 7000 Tesla cars in just 7 days. His love life is far from boring as well when he dated pop star, Grimes, who was 16 years his junior.
Even before the Taylor Swift fiasco during the Grammy Awards, Kanye West was already surrounded by controversy. What’s funny, though, is that not long after the mic-grabbing incident and the criticisms, Kanye was his old self again - controversial and he proved that again in 2018. Kanye West’s attention-grabbing headlines are as unpredictable as his personality, and you’ll either hate or love him for it.
One of them has something to do with being a Trump supporter. He made headlines wearing the MAGA hat as if it was his new fashion statement. He later told President Trump when he met him that wearing it made him feel like Superman.
As if that wasn’t enough, he suddenly declared on TMZ live that “slavery was a choice” sparking outrage among a lot of people from all walks of life. He received a lot of criticisms from that on various social media outlets.
Whenever Kanye had something to promote, he did something crazy to get the attention of the media, and it looks like it worked every time, so 2018 was still good for Kanye. He released Ghost Town Pt. 2 which featured two of his best songs - Ghost Town and Freeee. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian also welcomed their third child via a surrogate.
This is one person on the list you may not have heard of before, but this entrepreneur with a background in digital marketing made waves in the news last year as the go-to mastermind for entrepreneurs and public figures looking to navigate the media. Glazers has spent more than 10 years in front of the cameras, appearing on reality shows like Mystery Millionaire and Bravo's Below Deck, but more importantly, has spent more than a decade behind the scenes building relationships with some of the most powerful media connections in the world.
Last year, Glazers reached over 50 million U.S. households via CBS News when he made a statement in support of a controversial immigration law. Even though he has no background in politics or law, he found himself sharing the broadcast with award winning journalists, political pundits and even an Iraqui general. Although Vito Glazers himself is not a household name like some of the others on this list, his work has been known to create controversy and even has helped changed laws, earning him the number 4 spot on the top newsjackers of 2018.
Michael Avenatti is a lawyer and media commentator who has represented celebrities, high-profile business people, and Fortune 100 companies in prominent lawsuits. However, he further rose to fame when he represented Stormy Daniels, a pornographic actress, regarding an alleged affair with Trump.
While the case was ongoing, Avenatti became a common fixture in different talk shows and programs as he discussed the case on TV. Still using Daniels, he then targeted Michael Cohen accusing the latter of paying large amounts of money to Daniels. He managed to bring Cohen to jail but his obsession to bring Trump down did not stop. After Cohen, he targeted Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated to the US Supreme Court in September 2018. He tried to stop Kavanaugh’s appointment but he did not succeed.
Avenatti did not only make the news via his courtroom antics and legal prowess. His personal life is as interesting as his professional life. Just before 2018 ended, the police arrested him after a former girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Fortunately, those charges were dropped.
Presently, Avenatti has found himself feuding with Diego Aranda Teixeira, a New York immigration lawyer. Teixeira was Avenetti’s staunch critic when it comes to immigration accusing the latter that he’s not doing enough for his clients. Regardless of your stance on the policy, Avenatti has done a great job keeping himself in the news.
The people who were included in this list may not be considered as role models but no one can deny that they have what it takes to be newsworthy. What they do might be considered ridiculous to many, but what can not be disputed is that they had not just the guts, but also the genius, to be able to leverage the media to talk about them nonstop. And with that, they are heard and noticed, truly deserving the titles of top newsjackers of 2018.