The tendency of most western media to focus on their own immediate neighbourhood, compounded by a definition of news as bad things happening, leaves an impression of 2015 that is almost unrelievedly bleak.
The year started and approached its close with attacks in Paris. Economics and politics in Greece caused much hardship and threatened the eurozone. Civil war, proxy war and Islamic State (by whatever name) stalked Syria and Iraq. An adversarial Russia loomed large, as Ukraine was suspended uneasily between peace and war.