About 435,000 people read stories on the South Whidbey Record 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 the Record stories online and 8 a.m. is the most common time of the day. About 41 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.
Four of the top 10 most-read stories of the year were related to the saga of former Langley police chief David Marks, who was accused of using inappropriate force when he arrested a trespassing suspect. A use-of-force expert concluded that Marks’ actions were appropriate, but the expert was later charged with stabbing a man in an odd Pierce County case. Marks resigned after settling with the city.
The most read story of the year was good news. South Whidbey resident Tom Hellinger hooked a 260-pound halibut, which might be a record for Puget Sound fishing.
Here’s a look at the top 10 most-read stories of 2018.
1. Freeland man hooks “fish of a lifetime”
2. Wind wallops Whidbey
3. Motorcyclist killed in accident on South Whidbey
4. Langley Police Chief David Marks terminated
5. Prosecutor declines to charge chief
6. Drug house investigation results in arrest
7. Bookkeeper accused of stealing $250,000
8. Langley police chief vilified at council meeting
9. Elderly Clinton woman guilty of killing sister
10. Use-of-force expert hired by Langley arrested for felony assault