San Diego County line
Photo by Chris Jennewein

Times of San Diego begins its seventh year of publication on Friday with monthly readership of over 500,000 people as local media continues to shift online.

The independent news website debuted on March 13, 2014. In the following April, its first full calendar month, the website recorded 50,102 unique users, according to Google Analytics.

So far in March 2020, Times of San Diego has welcomed over 390,000 readers, and the website is on track to reach over 500,000 by the month’s end — ten times the audience in its first full month of operation.

Traffic has grown as the number, breadth and impact of the site’s articles have increased. The website’s staff of seven contributing editors and photographers post between 20 and 25 articles daily comprising the essential news in the San Diego region.

Five-year trend in unique users
Five-year-trend in unique users. The spike in February 2015 was from an article reporting how a Fox network station mistakenly used a photo of President Obama with a local rape story. Data from Google Analytics

On Thursday, for example, the staff provided coverage of the first apparent community transmission of coronavirus in San Diego County, and on Wednesday graphic details behind former Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign fraud convention. Earlier in the month there was extensive coverage of the March 3 presidential primary.

This coverage has been widely recognized in professional circles. The San Diego Press Club has named Times of San Diego the best news site four years in a row, and Feedspot ranks it as one of the top 100 news sites worldwide.

Unlike traditional media, Times of San Diego reaches a predominantly younger audience. Those aged 18-34 accounted for 30% of reading sessions so far this year, while the 35-54 group represents another 33%.

While a majority of readers are in Southern California, the website has significant national and international reach, thanks to its coverage of politics, the military and sports.

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Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.