In this age of “fake news” and Twitter controversies, the news events that engaged San Diegans remain surprisingly normal: flower fields, July 4 fireworks, local crime, local politics and the weather.
A total of 3.47 million different people visited Times of San Diego at least once in 2019, but the following 10 news events drew the most readers. The numbers are culled both the desktop and mobile versions of the website.
1. Poppy Apocalypse — A massive wildflower bloom near Lake Elsinore in March drew thousands, caused massive traffic backups and received national attention. More than 100,000 people read a series of articles about this event. The accompanying photos were stunning
2. July 4 Fireworks — The website’s always popular guide to July 4th fireworks was the most-popular single article, read by 85,000 people, many just hours before dark on the holiday.
3. Coronado Bridge Suicide — A brief article about an October suicide on the Coronado Bridge that was witnessed by many had a tragic connection. The victim was the boyfriend of a woman who was found dead a day later. 82,000 read about this double tragedy.
4. Ex-Cop Sentenced — A former policeman from Yuma was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the rape of a woman in Kensington in 2017. This sad report was read by 80,000 people.
5. San Diego Network Sues Rachel Maddow — San Diego’s One America News Network, a cable network beloved by President Trump, sued MSNBC host Rachel Maddow after she allegedly accused the network of being Russian propaganda. Over 62,000 read a series of articles about the lawsuit.
6. Gavin Newsom Recall — A series of articles about a La Jolla doctor’s quixotic effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom drew over 40,000 readers.
7. All-Male Draft Unconstitutional — In response to a lawsuit brought by a San Diego group, a federal judge ruled that laws requiring only men to registers for a future draft are unconstitutional. The article received national attention, and 38,000 people read it.
8. Office in a Bedroom — Some content is timeless. An article from 2017 about how to squeeze an office area into a bedroom was read in 2019 by 33,000 people. Maybe it was the growing gig economy in San Diego, but perhaps Assembly Bill 5 will cancel out this interest in 2020.
9. Super Blood Wolf Moon — This celestial event on Jan. 20 wasn’t followed by the end of days, as biblical prophets warned, but was a spectacular sight in San Diego. 28,000 read the articles.
10. March Storms — The forecast of a wave of three storms that promised to saturate San Diego in March was read by 16,000 people.
Honorable mention: California’s “war on coal” is over, Alisha Keys buys La Jolla’s “razor house,” one-armed surfing legend Bethany Hamilton in Oceanside and 10 last-minute ideas for New Year’s Eve 2019 each drew more than 10,000 readers.
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