Here are the top 10 local news stories on our website during 2013, ranked in descending order of page views.
This list is meant as something of a cold-hearted addendum to our year-end series, which runs in print and which spotlights the Valley's most newsworthy moments of the past year. By contrast, this list only shows what was read the most, not what was most important. (Some context: the No. 1 story had more than 88,000 page views.)
Some more of the standard observations: only a few principals of news value drove a majority of our traffic in these stories. Sensationalism (what is strange or otherwise perversely sexual); deaths and death-adjacent accidents; and injustice all appear multiple times below. The list of Veteran's Day deals is the only example of another standby: consumer journalism.
These pieces were also buoyed by their shareability as community broadcasts, being spread on Facebook either as alerts or conversation-starters (or, in the case of Abbott Turner's obituary, a chance for a community to remember one of its own). In some cases, major stories got second lives as readers shared them with the world at large, through massive online forums such as Reddit. Mobile and tablet audiences, too, contributed to each story's "tail."
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Though this list is in many ways archetypal, its numbers also reflect changing reading patterns, as more of our community (and other communities — our major traffic sources now include the metro Atlanta area as well as East Alabama and beyond) turns first to L-E.com for its news.
Take a look: