According to our web hits and downloads, the most-read story in EW this year was a story about the other paper in town … The Register-Guard. More precisely, it was our story “Reporter Fired for Checking Email?” about the termination of popular reporter Serena Markstrom Nugent while she was out on pregnancy disability leave.
That article not only was the most read on our website — it also generated a lot of national attention, with mentions on the journo news site Romenesko and a tweet by NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik.
The April 3 story was followed by a slew of comments about the issue, including several readers who posted letters they wrote to the R-G about Markstrom Nugent’s firing, which the daily paper never ran. EW will update that story when news comes in about the status of the Markstrom Nugent/R-G dispute.
The next most-read story, or really, set of stories, was our annual Best of Eugene issue (Nov. 6), proving that positive stories can beat out shocking or racy ones.
Best of Eugene beat the best efforts of racists nationwide to overload the EW website. Our third most read, and definitely our most commented-on story, was a Jan. 20 blog post about local racist Jimmy Marr playing the bagpipes with a sign reading “‘Diversity’ is a code word for white genocide” during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Springfield. The blog post prompted a storm of comments, mainly from proponents of “the Mantra” who try to call attention to what they call “white genocide,” which they argue is caused by proponents of diversity, with questions such as “Why do you hate little White children?”
The cover feature “Rape U” about the allegations of rape made against three basketball players by a female student at the UO was the next most-read story this year. This is in keeping with the nationwide attention to campus rape that has arisen this year, including a controversial story in Rolling Stone.
Rounding out the top five news stories (we didn’t count calendar and music listing, as those consistently get high readership year-round) was our Oct. 23 election endorsements. It would appear, in Eugene anyway, people really do care about voting. With marijuana legalization and GMO labeling on the ballot, people had a lot to think about before they voted.
Two stories written in previous years, Rick Levin’s 2012 cover feature “The Restoration Will Be Televised” about the Springfield-based reality show Graveyard Carz and a 2013 Shortchanging our Schools column by Ann Bridgman, “Budget Cuts Affect Music, Arts,” had big spikes in readership this year. If anyone knows why a show about restoring old Chryslers and an arts education column suddenly got thousands more reads in 2014, let EW Editor Ted Taylor know at firstname.lastname@example.org.