Bad news vs. good news

^ Posted May. 4

The Daily looks at print circulation and Web traffic to gauge how we're doing each month. What our print circulation report does not provide is how many of our readers are looking at a particular story - we know how many have purchased the paper that day, but not what they are reading. Our online reporting is more exact - we know how many pageviews each story receives. It's interesting - and sometimes surprising - to see what bubbles up to the top as the most popular local news stories online.

Check out April's top stories. Do you see a pattern?

  1. Rock climber killed in fall near state line

  2. Driver dies in crash near I-66 | Local News

  3. *Climbing accident victim identified

  4. Wolf Gap fire still burning

  5. Rubbermaid worker dies in accident

  6. Woman sues hospital over blood infection

  7. Michaele Salahi wins key court battle against husband

  8. Berryville woman claims $2 million lottery prizes

  9. *Cause of Wolf Gap fire determined

  10. Man charged with sexually abusing child

  11. * Rubbermaid identifies worker killed in accident

  12. Do-it-yourself legal defense brings guilty verdict

  13. Police: Cat hurled from moving car

Perusing online traffic reports month after month, one can conclude that crime, court cases [especially those involving sexual assaults], tragic accidents, fires, lottery winners and people doing just plain dumb stuff - are what our readers are reading the most and sharing with their friends and family through social networking. The "good news" stories - for example, those about people winning awards and doing great things for the community - are drawing fewer eyeballs online.

The reports are helpful to a certain extent - we know that the "bad news" stories draw readers like accidents draw "rubberneckers," so we strive to balance the bad with the good, and these online numbers won't deter us from seeking out and presenting the "good news" stories of the day.

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