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A look back at the year in news

So it befalls myself, the newest member of the Free Press team, to write the final In My View of the year. And what a year it has been.

For me, it has been a busy 12 months, consisting of graduating from university after an incredible three years, enjoying a working holiday in the US and entering the scary world of full-time employment.

I thought I would take an opportunity to reflect on a handful of standout stories from around the world that have shaped 2014.

Some of the most dramatic stories this year came with protesters taking to the streets armed with a smartphone and a cause.

The year began with violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

The long stand-off in Independence Square cost over 300 protesters their lives as riot police used brutal tactics to break up the demonstration which had begun months earlier as a peaceful protest.

In September, the so-called Umbrella Movement began in Hong Kong when demonstrators occupied Civic Square in protest at the Government’s decision on electoral reforms.

The peaceful protest quickly gained momentum with demonstrators pitching up tents and blocking roads with mass sit-ins.

But it was not long before police turned to pepper spray and violence to move people along, as captured by shaky smartphone videos and broadcast around the world.

Even in December – the month of festivities and goodwill – protests have been raging in parts of America after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed a black teenager in Ferguson, Mississippi.

The protesters were soon joined by fresh demonstrations in New York after another grand jury decided against indicting the policeman who used a choke hold on Eric Garner – a black man who died after telling officers he could not breathe.

Elsewhere, 2014 marked the centenary anniversary of the start of the First World War and people across the country raised an incredible amount of money for the Royal British Legion.

The display of poppies at the Tower of London acted as a beautiful, yet stark, reminder, with each of the 888,246 poppies representing a British fatality during the war.

One of the most devastating stories of the year was the news of an ebola outbreak in several West African countries which is still claiming lives every day.

Organisations estimate the current death toll is around 7,400 after the disease ravaged entire villages in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

This year was a monument for space exploration with robotic space probe Rosetta successfully landing on a comet to conduct the most detailed study ever attempted.

Looking ahead, 2015 will no doubt be another action-packed year. With the promise of a general election and the chance to shake-up local politics, I’m sure it will keep us story seekers on our toes.