Covering news is a difficult and demanding job. 

News photographers are the foot soldiers, covering everything from country specific news events to global stories that will grace worldwide front pages, whilst those of us manning desks try to plan their next deployment. 

The thing is, very little of what we do can be planned for. When stories break, decisions have to be made in an instant on whether to cover or not.

As Director of Photography for News,  it is my job to decide what we cover and how we cover it in the region that I am responsible for, EMEA.

Each year on January 2nd, I return to work, look in my diary for the year ahead and take a deep breath thinking about what the year will bring. The last few years there has been a big set piece - something that we knew was scheduled to happen whether that be a general election in the UK, a royal wedding or the Olympics. 

In 2013 I took a deeper breath than normal seeing no big set pieces - the pages were empty. We would have to wait and see what the news threw at us.

I shouldn’t have worried.  It didn’t take long for the news cycle to take hold as I knew it would and as I look at our coverage from 2013, it has been a busy and demanding year for us all.  Popes resigned and were replaced, Spanish trains crashed off bends, a wide range of UK celebrities faced allegations of sexual assault, a new Prince was born, the much beloved Mandela passed away (after first fooling the world’s media), immigrants fled North Africa only to die on stormy seas, governments faced uprisings, activists staged demonstrations, countries were crippled by economic woe and the effects of climate change again decimated entire countries. As I say, busy.

In this gallery, I have put together some of my favourite images of the year that illustrate some of the stand-out stories. I have also included a few images that I just like - no story attached, just good old fashioned standalones. Every frame, however, has one common denominator, a very talented photographer who, with the help of the newsdesk is in the right place at the right time taking a cracking news picture.  My job is simply to enable them to do theirs.

Bette Lynch is Director of Photography for Getty Images News in the EMEA region.

Click here to see our global Year in Focus selections from News, Sport, Entertainment & Archival

  • ATHENS, GREECE - FEBRUARY 2: Members of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party stand around a stage while the leader of the party Nikolaos Mihaloliakos delivers a speech on February 2, 2013 in Athens, Greece. The far right movement, Golden Dawn, have seen their popularity increase on the back of the crippling austerity measures taking place in Greece at the moment. Whilst many of their policies and ideologies are condemned by the wider public Golden Dawn's support appears to be growing thanks to their Greece belongs to Greeks ethos. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
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  • VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 13: Newly elected Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pontiff and will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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  • LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Actress Angelina Jolie leaves Lancaster House after attending the G8 Foreign Minsters' conference on April 11, 2013 in London, England. G8 Foreign Ministers are holding a two day meeting where they will discuss the situation in the Middle East; including Syria and Iran, security and stability across North and West Africa, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and climate change. British Foreign Secretary William Hague will also highlight five key policy priorities. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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  • LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Members of the Armed Services carry the coffin down the steps after the Ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral on April 17, 2013 in London, England. Dignitaries from around the world today join Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as the United Kingdom pays tribute to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher during a Ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral. Lady Thatcher, who died last week, was the first British female Prime Minister and served from 1979 to 1990. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
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  • LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Publicist Max Clifford is surrounded by the press as he leaves Westminster Magistrates court on May 28, 2013 in London, England. Max Clifford is appearing at Westminster Magistrates court court charged with 11 indecent assaults, allegedly committed between 1966 and 1985. Mr Clifford was arrested at his home in Surrey in December 2012 by officers from Operation Yewtree, following up on allegations in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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  • GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Sir Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2013 on June 29, 2013 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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  • LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart The Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on July 23, 2013 in London, England. The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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  • CAIRO, EGYPT - AUGUST 14: Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi take shelter inside a construction site during a violent crackdown by Egyptian Security Forces on a pro-Morsi sit-in demonstration at the Rabaa al-Adweya Mosque in the Nasr City district on August 14, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. An unknown number of pro-Morsi protesters were killed in Egypt's capital today as Egyptian Security Forces undertook a planned operation to clear Morsi supporters from two sit-in demonstrations in Cairo where they have camped for over one month. Egyptian Police and Army forces entered protest sites in the Nasr City and Giza districts at dawn using tear gas, live fire and bulldozers to disperse protesters and destroy the camps. A state of emergency has been declared in Egypt to begin this afternoon and will reportedly last for one month. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images)
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  • TARIFA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 01: Horsemen ride in procession during the Agricultural Cavalcade on September 1, 2013 in Tarifa, Spain. Every year, hundreds of horsemen ride eight kilometers from the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Light, a shrine to the Virgin Mary located in the Meadow of Caheruelas, to the Church of San Mateo in Tarifa. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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  • PONORATA, ROMANIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Maria Petrisur breast feeds one of her children in the one-room wood, mud and straw hut she shares with other family members in the abjectly poor Roma settlement of Ponorata on September 10, 2013 in Ponorata, Romania. Between 400 and 500 Roma live in squalor at Ponorata, few have access to electricity and 95% of them are illiterate and unemployed. A Romanian NGO called OvidiuRo, co-founded by Leslie Hawke, who is the mother of American actor Ethan Hawke, is attempting to get young Roma children to regularly attend pre-school through a coupon incentive system for food at Ponorata and 23 other Roma communities across Romania. Many Roma from Ponorata have spent time in France to earn money, mostly through begging and scrap metal collection. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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  • ISOLA DEL GIGLIO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 18: The previously submerged, severely damaged right side of the Costa Concordia cruise ship is seen in upright position on September 18, 2013 in Isola del Giglio, Italy. The vessel, which sank on January 12, 2012, was successfully righted during a painstaking operation yesterday morning. The ship will eventually be towed away and scrapped. It was the first time the procedure, known as parbuckling, had been carried out on a vessel as large as Costa Concordia. (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)
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  • MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image was processed using digital filters. Colour version not available) British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, arrive at Manchester Central where he will deliver his closing speech to delegates on the last day of the annual Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. During his closing speech David Cameron is expected to say that his 'abiding mission' is to make the UK into a 'land of opportunity'. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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  • MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 03: (EDITORS NOTE: THIS IMAGE WAS CREATED WITH THE USE OF DIGITAL FILTERS.) People enjoy riding on the Teufelsrad (Devils wheel) merry-go-round at Theresienwiese on October 3, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
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  • LAMPEDUSA, ITALY - OCTOBER 07: Italian military personnel disembark from a boat carrying the bodies of African migrants killed in a shipwreck off the Italian coast lie in Lampedusa harbour on October 7, 2013 in Lampedusa, Italy. The search for bodies continues off the coast of Southern Italy as the death toll of African migrants who drowned as they tried to reach the island of Lampedusa is expected to reach over 300 people. The tragedy has bought fresh questions over the thousands of asylum seekers that arrive into Europe by boat each year. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
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  • BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 12: Smoke fills the air as Spanish far right groups demonstrate against the independence of Catalonia during the Spain's National Day on October 12, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. Hundreds of far right protesters arrived from different cities across Spain to hold a demonstration against the independence of Catalonia. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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  • SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN - JULY 28: Train driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo, 53, is taken in a police car from Police Station to the Preliminary Court on July 28, 2013 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The high speed train crashed after it derailed on a bend as it approached the north-western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela at 8:40pm on July 24th. At least 78 people have died and a further 131 are reported injured. The crash occurred on the eve of the Santiago de Compostela Festivities. The train driver, Garzon Amo, has been formally accused of reckless homicide and remains in custody awaiting an appearance in court. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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  • BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13: A White Standard Poodle is prepared during the World Team Dog Grooming Championships on October 13, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. Seventeen countries participated this weekend in the World Team Dog Grooming Championships styling Poodles, Schnauzers and spaniels. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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  • TIBERIAS, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 16: (ISRAEL OUT) Christian pilgrims take part in a group baptism in the waters of the Jordan Riveron October 16, 2013 at the Yardenit Baptismal Site near Tiberias in northern Israel. An estimated 100,000 Christian worshippers make their pilgrimage to the Holy Land each year and one of their most sacred rituals is being immersed in the Biblical river where, according to Christian beliefs, Jesus Christ was baptised by John the Baptist. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
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  • LEIPZIG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 16: An actor in the role of Napoleon Bonaparte (R) arrives with others in the roles of Prussian Field Marshall Gebhard Leberecht von Bluecher (L) and Czar Alexander (C) at the evening opening ceremony to commemorate the 200th anniverary of The Battle of Nations on October 16, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. The commemoration will culminate in a massive re-enactment of the battle with 6,000 actors on October 20. In a battle involving 600,000 soldiers in 1813 combined Austrian, Prussian, Russian and Swedish forces defeated Napoleon's army near Leipzig, forcing him to retreat toward France and sealing the end of his European military expansion. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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  • LEYTE, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 18: A family gather around a grave of a relative that was killed when Typhoon Haiyan struck their home on November 18, 2013 in Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan which ripped through Philippines on November 9, has been described as on of the most powerful typhoons ever to hit land, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Countries all over the world have pledged relief aid to help support those affected by the typhoon however damage to the airport and roads have made moving the aid into the most affected areas very difficult. With dead bodies left out in the open air and very limited food, water and shelter, health concerns are growing. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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  • LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Charles Saatchi arrives at Isleworth Crown Court on November 28, 2013 in London, England. Italian sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, who worked as assistants to Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, are accused of defrauding them of over 300,000 GBP. It was revealed in court yesterday that Charles Saatchi had written an email describing that his former wife Nigella Lawson took illegal drugs daily, such as cocaine and cannabis, for over a decade. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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  • JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #454753083 with alternate crop.) U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro during the official memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Over 60 heads of state have travelled to South Africa to attend a week of events commemorating the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mr Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for his activism against apartheid in a racially-divided South Africa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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  • PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 12: Visitors leave the Union Buildings after viewing the body of former South African president Nelson Mandela as he lies in state on December 12, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. Nelson Mandela's body will lie in state for three days as part of a week of events commemorating the life of former South African President. Mr Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for his activism against apartheid in a racially-divided South Africa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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