The stories behind the clicks

The end of a year always brings a plethora of "Newsmaker of the Year" and "Story of the Year" lists - including in the pages of the Daily News, where voting begins today on the top six stories our newsroom team felt were the most important of 2013.

But in the online era, we can also measure instantly through web analytics which stories our readers clicked on the most - and the results don't look anything like our candidates for story of the year.

In 10th spot, Family Grapples With Loss Of Young Man ( - the January trial of a man charged with impaired driving causing death in a car crash on Highway 97A in 2010 caused 17-year-old Donovan Pippus's family to come
forward with the tale of their lost son.

In ninth place was a story posted July 22, Lifeguard's Quick Actions Save Man's Life (, about a man who tumbled headlong into the North Thompson River off Schubert Drive and a local lifeguard who was cycling by sprinted in to save him.

Eighth place was a story posted April 1 about a Rihanna spotting in the Kamloops Wal-Mart ( - and no, it wasn't an April Fool's joke; the pop superstar stopped in on her way to Vancouver for a concert.

In seventh, Mine Audit Finds Safety Problems, published April 13 ( detailed safety shortcomings at New Afton Mine. (Did you think it might be about another mine issue?)

Sixth place, Target To Open Doors In Spring 2013 (, was particularly interesting, since the story was posted in
February 2012 - yet enough people were still clicking on it in 2013 to crack the Top 10.

In fifth place was the tragic death of masters cyclist Richard McGillivray on the Trans Canada Highway, posted June 14 (

Armchair Mayor Mel Rothenburger cracked the top four last January with his hotly-contested column opposing pit bulls in City dog parks (

Third place was Racist Incident In Store Shocks Couple (, about a TRU student and his family who were accosted by a customer in a grocery store last March because his wife was wearing a hijab.

In second was Teen Reports Sex Assault At Party (, the story of a 17-year-old who was assaulted last June at a Barnhartvale bush party which had up to 1,000 high school graduates attending.

And the most clicked-on story in 2013? Mom Killed In Knutsford Crash (, the tragic story last April about a local mother killed when two pickup trucks collided on Highway 5A.

An interesting assortment, with three out of the top 10 involving a death.

Just as interesting is what you don't see. Ajax, seen by many in the media as the most talked-about issue in Kamloops, doesn't crack the Top 10 - our story about the anti-Ajax rally in front of the KGHM offices in October ranked 24th. Of the more than 300 articles (including letters to the editor and columns) that ran on our website in 2013 with "Ajax" in the headline, only five of them cracked the Top 100 in number of clicks.

All that said, online readership is just one metric - but it does provide some perspective and, perhaps, food for thought in 2014.

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