Published on 30 Dec 2012 Sections

2012: The most watched videos of the year

What were you watching in 2012? Channel 4 News counts down the most watched videos of the year – from tales to political intrigue to reports of overseas brutality.

10. British Somalis going back for a future

The tenth most watched video of the year was the story of a number of British Somalis returning to Africa because they fear what might happen to them in the UK.

With young Somalis in Britain having some of the worst records for education, employment and youth crime – the report explores how British Somali parents were sending their children back to Somali to stop them getting in trouble.

The video features a number of returnees who had struggled to fit into the UK, but also the troubles of fitting back into Somali culture.

Read more: British Somalis going back for a future

9. Angelina Jolie backs UK moves to tackle warzone rape

As the UK prepared to send an expert team to Syria to support the victims of rape, Angelina Jolie spoke to Channel 4 News about why she felt compelled to take action.

The team, including forensic experts and doctors, was first being deployed to help Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in which sexual violence was being used as a weapon of war. One function of the 70-strong team was to gather evidence so perpetrators could be held accountable at a later date.

Jolie said: “They want things not to be missed, they want to know one day they will be able to go home and there will be accountability. It matters to them emotionally and it matters to the future of their country on a legal level that they will be able to find some justice and move forward and have their basic human rights protected.”

Read more: Exclusive - Jolie backs UK moves to tackle warzone rape

8. CCTV casts doubt on police account of Andrew Mitchell exchange

Earlier this month Channel 4 News and Dispatches revealed CCTV footage which cast doubt on accounts of the ‘plebgate’ exchange between former chief whip Andrew Mitchell and police officers at the Downing Street gates.

Having been vilified for allegedly calling officers plebs, suspicions have now emerged that accounts in police logs of the incident have been fabricated. Two arrests have been made in connection with the incident, and Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe returned from his holiday early to handle the crisis.

Read more: CCTV casts doubt on account of Andrew Mitchell exchange.

7. Alex Thomson doorsteps former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie

When Channel 4 News asked the former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie for an interview over the paper’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, he refused. Chief correspondent Alex Thomson decided not to accept the former tabloid editor’s rejection, leading to the Kelvin MacKenzie doorstep.

The video, which also spawned Youtube parodies, was the seventh most read on the Channel 4 News website of 2012. It sparked a media debate over doorstepping tactics by the press.

Mr MacKenzie wrote the “The Truth” headline on The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, which blamed fans for the 96 deaths that took place. The Hillsborough Report, published this year, exonerated the fans.

Read more: Alex Thomson's MacKenzie doorstep sparks media debate.

6. The horror in Homs

Video journalist “Mani” captured exclusive footage of violence as it erupted in Syria. The video, Syria: the horror of Homs, shows the intense street battles taking place between government forces and the Free Syria Army rebels as well as of victims of the violence.

Mani won the Gaby Rado award at the Amnesty International Media Awards, the Rory Peck Award for News, and the award for TV News at the Foreign Press Association for the report.

Read more: The horror in Homs

5. Australian tourist’s bungee cord snaps

Footage of the moment when an Australian tourist’s bungee cord snapped, dropping her into the Zambesi river after she jumped from 111-metres above the water, was the fifth most watched video of the year.

The tourist, Erin Langworthy, escaped with cuts and bruises from the jump on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. In the footage she tells how she had to swim for safety despite still having her feet tied.

Read more: Australian tourist's bungee cord snaps

4. Should England’s cricket team tour Sri Lanka?

As Zimbabwe’s star batsman, Andy Flower famously wore a black armband in the 2003 cricket world cup to protest against what he saw as the death of the country’s democracy at the hands of Robert Mugabe.

But this year, as manager of the English team, Mr Flower departed for Sri Lanka, where a series of Channel 4 News investigations had exposed allegations of serious war crimes from the country’s civil war in which some of the country’s leaders were implicated.

Channel 4 News spoke to Andy Flower about the trip, explaining his position was not to take a political stance.

Read more: Should England's cricket team tour Sri Lanka?

3. Should you let your child play in Habbo Hotel?

The third most viewed video of 2012 was the Channel 4 News investigation into Habbo Hotel, an online game aimed at teenagers which was being used by paedophiles and was filled with explicit conversations.

Channel 4 News producer Rachel Seifert played the game fifty times and on each occasion experienced sexual approaches. Two experts also looked at the game for Channel 4 News, and said that what was going on was “wrong” and that the site was like a “brothel”.

Following the investigation, the owner of the site, Finnish company Sulake, tightened security on the site.

Read more: Should you let your child play in Habbo Hotel?

2. Zombies storm app download charts

Second most viewed video of the year was the tale of a British made phone app, Zombies Run, which stormed to success as a new fitness craze. The app, funded by individual contributions, inspires joggers by telling them a story of a zombie attack – encouraging the jogger to flee the apocalyptic threat. For a six week period it was outselling some of the global brands in the field.

Read more: Zombies storm app download charts

1. Syrian doctors torturing patients

And finally, the top viewed video of 2012 were the revelations of torture taking place at the Military Hospital in Homs. Filmed by a Syrian employee of the hospital, and handed to Channel 4 News, the video shows how victims of violence in the country were being moved to the hospital where they were shackled, beaten and whipped.

Medical and human rights experts consider the intentional infliction of pain by doctors within the confines of a hospital to be the ultimate desecration of human rights and “a gross breach of medical ethics”.

Read more: Exclusive - Syrian doctors torturing patients