About a million people read stories on the Whidbey News-Times website in 2018, even with a change in a Facebook algorithm that made it more difficult for newspapers to get readers from the social media platform.
Wednesday is the most popular day to read News-Times stories online and 8 a.m. is the most common time of the day. About 43 percent of online readers are return visitors.
People continue to read newspapers more than ever, though most of the reading takes place online nowadays.
One of the benefits of posting stories in cyberspace is that newspapers can see what stories are the most read. The information doesn’t direct reporting, but it is interesting to see what the community is reading the most.
Perhaps not surprising, nearly all of the top stories are about crime and tragedy. The one not-so-serious story is about reports of people seeing a cougar — or possible cougars — in the Oak Harbor area. That mystery remains out there.
Here’s a look at the top 10 most-read stories of 2018:
1. Man accused of voyeurism in Walmart bathroom
2. Despondent man jumps from car, leaps off bridge
3. Missing sailor’s car found in lot near Deception Pass bridge
4. Woman accused of grabbing girl at Deception Pass park
5. Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder
6. Sailor accused of raping teenage boy
7. Big cat reports taken seriously by Oak Harbor police
8. Sailor shoots man during party, turns gun on self
9. Pastor accused of child rape
10. Coroner identifies man shot, killed by police