Give Readers More News About Horse Sex

The Seattle Times Danny Westneat just published a column on the most popular stories of the year. While journalists would prefer to highlight their investigative work or their hard hitting corruption probes, the readers have a more prurient view. In the top five most popular stories, four concern a man in Enumclaw WA who suffered a perforated colon after having sex with his horse. Number five was about a vanity license plate that showed the chemical formula for meth.

A newspaper in Chile is cited where “every editorial decision is based on Web-traffic stats. Popular stories beget similar coverage. Unpopular stories get killed. Reporters are even paid by whose stories get the most clicks. It sounds crass and shallow. It’s also now Chile’s most widely read

Of the top 10 local stories as picked by Washington state editors for The Associated Press, only two show up in the people’s-choice list: the contested election for governor and Joseph Duncan’s alleged killing of an Idaho family.