– Brooks Atkinson
This year we close out Monday was interesting. Lots of big news. Elections, storms, even a left-handed Masters champion.
But what were the stories that most interested the readers of The Augusta Chronicle? Well, it usually wasn’t what you’d think.
I know because I can access a tracking service that tells me what stories received the most page views on our Web site. I sort of think of it as the annual “People’s Choice” awards.
Let me share our most popular stories of 2012 by month:
January: The story “Truck stuck on railroad bridge,” about the dangerous attempt to drive over the Savannah River’s Sixth Street railroad trestle, registered a remarkable 26,135 page views. The same story gained another 10,485 on our mobile site for a total of 36,620 views.
February: “Singer Whitney Houston has died,” 7,696 on mobile and 6,377 for 14,073 page views.
March: “Boy, 14, arrested in shooting of Harlem girl, 13” recorded 7,614 views.
April: It was golf inspired, but not what you’d think. “Masters patron charged in sand trap theft,” a story of national interest, gained 13,898 page views. A story about Bubba Watson actually winning the tournament scored a modest 9,797.
May: “Four Greenbrier seniors arrested for prank” was the top story with 8,067 page views.
June: The headline says about all you need to know. “Couple arrested for movie theater fornication,” tallied an astonishing 93,558 page views, making it the most read story of the year. It was that kind of month. The second most viewed story was “UGA professor charged as prostitute,” with 6,602 views.
July: Apparently the trend continued into July where the story “Teen’s toe sucked by man at Walmart” easily topped the chart with 18,123 readers. A fading second place went to “6 victims in downtown Augusta shooting” with 9,104 views.
August: “North Augusta gun shop owner kills suspected burglar, wounds 2 others” had 36,625 views.
September: A national story, “Green Mile actor Michael Clarke Duncan dead at 54” was tops with 6,200 views.
October: “1 dead; suspect in custody in University Hospital shooting” produced 15,747 page views.
November: Thankfully, this month was more upbeat with “Everyone loves Lakeside Homecoming Queen,” with 9,551.
December: While this month isn’t over, one news story is a clear leader. “1 in critical condition after 4-vehicle crash on River Watch Parkway” with more than 7,700 page views by this weekend. A related story, “Wrong way driver refuses to cooperate with police,” has more than 6,500 page views so far.
May our 2013 stories be happier ones.