The 10 most-read stories on the Santa Cruz Sentinel website 2012
Crime, surf and sea creatures were among the most popular subjects on the Sentinel’s website in 2012.
The site received more than 41 million page views through early December of 2012 and the Sentinel’s mobile apps (iPhone and Android introduced in February, iPad in November), received another 6 million views.
The Sentinel welcomed more than 4.6 million unique annual visitors to the site.
The most viewed local story of 2012 was on the tragic stabbing death of Shannon Collins on Broadway. Collins, who ran a popular downtown business, was walking during the morning of May 7, on her way to a hair appointment, when she was attacked and brutally murderd. Charles Edwards, who was arrested and charged with the crime, was a felon with a violent history who had been earlier released on parole due to a clerical error. Readers grieved, struggled to understand the senseless loss, and offered their support to Collins’ loved ones.
The story received more than 70,000 page views during the year.
The second most viewed story of 2012 was about a woman who gave birth to a baby girl in the lobby of the county jail. The woman had been arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public on a Sunday afternoon. Jail staff initially refused to book her because she was pregnant and intoxicated. She was evaluated at Dominican Hospital and then brought back to the jail Sunday evening for booking. On Monday, sober and being released, she gave birth in the lobby, with help from jail medical staff. The baby girl was estimated to be 2 or 3 months premature. The Drudge Report posted a prominent link to the story, which was viewed more than 59,000 times.
Fans of “Chasing Mavericks” may have gone home from the movie and searched online for more information on Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarity. When they did, one of the top results was Wallace Baine’s 2010 column marking the 10th anniversary of Moriarity’s accidental death. The story was read more than 44,000 times.
Other most viewed stories included an embedded video made by a Santa Cruz fisherman who captured incredible underwater shots of dolphins swimming with his boat. A shark attack on a kayak near Pleasure Point closed beaches and captured the community’s attention and the story drew more than 20,000 page views. It also prompted Sentinel reporter Jason Hoppin to build a shark attack map, detailing all reported shark attacks in California history. The map also received more than 16,000 page views during the year.
The Sentinel’s online audience continues to grow (page views were up 17 percent this year), and our newsroom is committed to delivering news and the community’s stories across all platforms and devices. We break news on twitter, we share community stories on Facebook. We built a Community Media Lab to connect with and highlight local bloggers (more than 10,000 views of that page). We’ve added more than 1,300 followers on Instagram this year. YouTube videos produced by the Sentinel were watched more than 300,000 times.
Readers were drawn to sex (Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show photos drew more than 60,000 views), to the absurd (Shark falls from sky, lands on California Golf Course – 8,400 views), to up-to-the-moment election coverage (nearly 600,000 page views on election day and the two days following), to the in-depth (Our investigative project on the $123 million proposed desalination project in Santa Cruz generated more than 60,000 views).
We published all public salaries in Santa Cruz County, and those databases drew more than 100,000 views. We worked harder than ever to involve our readers in polls, commentary, in tipping us off to news, and to connect with local bloggers and experts in their fields. The Sentinel events calendar was viewed more than 800,000 times.
We also built partnerships with Santa Cruz Waves (a new surf photo every day on the Sentinel home page), and Cruzio (our top referrer of traffic, more than 340,000 views from their site) and updated our weddings page, updated all subscriber services online, launched community pages and offered an online-first series on the Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die in Santa Cruz (20,000 views). We also offered our first annual Readers Choice voting, and we’re pleased to say that our audience is always reaching out to us, with the “contact us” page receiving more than 60,000 views.
The 10 most-read local stories on the Santa Cruz Sentinel website in 2012:
- Police call Monday’s stabbing of downtown Santa Cruz business owner ‘unprovoked and random’
- Woman gives birth to baby girl in lobby of Santa Cruz County Jail early Monday morning
- On the 10th anniversary of the death of iconic surfer Jay Moriarity, his widow reflects
- Santa Cruz County Jail escapee apprehended
- Employee of Santa Cruz business thwarts armed robber by grabbing his gun, police say
- Daughter of surf shop owner dies after falling out of party bus, CHP says
- Tuna fisherman posts video of dolphins swimming with underwater ‘torpedo’ camera
- Shark attacks kayak near Pleasure Point
- Crews fight off San Lorenzo River to save Boardwalk
- Granite Rock CEO Bruce Woolpert dies in boating accident
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the correct count of story views, showing that the story on the stabbing death of Shannon Collins was the most viewed of 2012.