Call it what you like, 2009 was a pretty good year for knoxnews.com.
Our readership continues to grow year over year. Our staff is producing award-winning work (see here, here, here and here to see just a few). The online producers here at knoxnews broke the rules for online video by producing a long-form documentary-style piece on the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom murders and the year anniversary of the TVA ash spill.
What’s telling, though, is when we look at what you, faithful reader, really paid attention to, commented on and visited again and again over the last 12 months.
Here’s a look at the most-viewed pages on our site from January 1 – December 31, 2009:
1. Knoxville Blog Network – 297,201 views
Surprisingly, the most viewed page on knoxnews last year was a feed of area blogs. If you want to join the Knoxville network, just click here.
2. Gallery: Scenes from the Orange and White game – 193,814 views
As we all know, this is football country. We love it. We live for it. What better proof of our fandom than the fact that the #2 most clicked is a gallery from the Orange and White game back in April? Of course, there was the added interest that new football coach, Lane Kiffin brought to the table.
3. Article: UT Football players arrested (first day, breaking news) – 146,920 views
Yes, we’re all mad about football, but when those football idols fall, we’re there to read, comment, assume, comment more, question facts, point fingers and call for dismissal. The Vol Nation is large and in love … ’til someone messes up.
4. Gallery: Top prostitution offenders in Knox County – 133,269 views
Well, what can I say about this one? Reporter JJ Stambaugh, photographer (intern at the time, now full staffer) Adam Brimer and online producer Erin Chapin collaborated on a 3-day series looking at the issue of sex for sale in Knox County. One small aspect (or so we thought) of this coverage was a gallery of mug shots of the top offenders (by number of times arrested) in Knox County as given to us by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
5. Blog: The List – 123,627 views
Again, who knew? GoVolsXtra blogger Marlon McKinney does a great job compiling links of “Vol Stuff” every day for diehard fans of all things orange. Apparently, y’all like it pretty well as it comes in 5th for the year and first of all our bloggers!
6. GoSmokies photos – 108,964 views
Everybody loves the Smokies. Most everyone likes pictures. Combine the two and you get our 6th most-viewed page of 2009.
7. Article: Local woman honeymoons in the woods with a turkey – 107,798 views
Granted, having a Jamaican wedding followed by a honeymoon of turkey hunting in East Tennessee seems a little … unorthodox. Personally, we think Rene rocks and so, apparently, do you!
8. Article: Signing Day ’09 for UT football – 91,349 views
We’ve mentioned that whole love of football thing, right? Well, here’s more proof of it. Signing day is huge at GoVolsXtra. The sports and online staff put a lot of energy into making sure Vol fans have a handle on who’s coming to UT and who’s ditched us for competitors in the SEC. We’re sure glad you notice.
9 & 10. August of 2009 saw the first of the key defendents in the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom brought to trial. J. Miles Cary was at the courthouse every day, from morning til evening, rarely taking a break for himself and diligently documenting the trial of Letalvis Cobbins for the community. His photo galleries of the first and last days of the trial came in at numbers 9 and 10 with 90,557 and 87,610 views respectively.
11. Blogs on GoVolsXtra – 84,095 views
Football again(well, all UT sports, really). Only this time in a general blogginess type of way.
12. The death of a legendary moonshiner – 82,516 views
Though several readers debated whether we should promote illegal activity by covering the death of ‘Popcorn’ Sutton, there were plenty more who just wanted to share memories of the man and his, um, product.
Speaking of blogs, our top bloggers in ’09 were:
Marlon McKinney – The List
Frank Munger – Atomic City Underground
Josh Flory – Property Scope
Mike Griffith – Ask Griff
Michael Silence – No Silence Here
For more high-hitters, check out the top stories in news, business, sports and national and international news.
KNS photographers picked their favorite photos of 2009 and made galleries of their top choices.
Charlie Daniel celebrated his 80th birthday recently. We’d like to close this post with a look at his best editorial cartoons of 2009