Readers' Representative Journal

A conversation on newsroom ethics and standards

« Previous Post | Readers' Representative Journal Home | Next Post »

Michael Jackson news, Iran updates contribute to record Web numbers

July 6, 2009 |  2:22 pm

Here's the memo with Web numbers for June from Meredith Artley, managing editor, online:

Colleagues: Our strong, swift coverage of major events in the past month attracted a record-breaking 26 million unique users to our site. That’s up 50% over June 2008. Those 26 million users generated more than 155 million page views, 30% growth over last year. Visits from our local audience grew 30% over this time last year, a good sign that more of our immediate community is turning to us for local news as well as stories in our backyard that have a national or global impact. Speaking of...

Our coverage of Michael Jackson’s tragic death continues to be the most insightful and most thorough anywhere. Our nimble, well-sourced team continues to break news daily on L.A. Now. The photo galleries, which are being constantly updated, have drawn millions of page views. We’ll be launching a few impressive interactive features in the coming weeks as the story unfolds and becomes more complex. We set a new daily record for page views the day Jackson died.

It’s important to note that our coverage of the Jackson story is not the sole reason for this readership leap.

During the height of the crisis that grew out of the Iran elections, readers flocked to Babylon & Beyond to read a constant stream of updates around the clock from Borzou Daragahi in Tehran, Alexandra Zavis and Amber Smith here in L.A. and Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo. Borzou's story of “Neda” was particularly well-read and commented upon.

Readers also came to us for coverage of Farrah Fawcett’s death -- the obituary, appreciations and galleries were all of great interest.

And a hometown team won the NBA finals in the past month --  readers flocked to us for the coverage that included fast-paced staff updates during game time, sharp analysis, live blogging and chats, outstanding photo galleries and video analysis.
What a month.

What’s next? We’re throwing a lot of energy at the site redesign, launching in mid-July. Much more to come on this.

Top blogs
Blogs reached a new record – more than 18 million page views across our blog network. That’s 100% growth compared to last year, and 10x the growth from June 2007. Incredible.

1.  L.A. Now* -- 5,708,961 page views
2.  Dish Rag -- 2,668,729
3.  Show Tracker -- 928,069
4.  Gold Derby -- 915,671
5.  Pop & Hiss* -- 825,420
6.  Lakers             
7.  Top of the Ticket         
8.  Fabulous Forum           
9.  Hero Complex              
10.  Technology  
11.  Company Town*        
12.  Dodger Thoughts       
13.  Culture Monster         
14.  Daily Travel & Deal  
15.  L.A. Unleashed          
16.  Comments Blog          
17.  Babylon & Beyond*  
18.  Outposts       
19.  Money & Co.              
20.  Big Picture   

Asterisks denote new records.
Most-viewed articles
1. Michael Jackson dead at 50 (By Harriet Ryan, Chris Lee, Andrew Blankstein and Scott Gold)
2. More porn HIV cases disclosed (By Kimi Yoshino and Rong-Gong Lin II)
3. Michael Jackson’s life was infused with fantasy and tragedy (By Geoff Boucher and Elaine Woo)
4. She finally has a home: Harvard (By Esmeralda Bermudez)
5. North Korean labor camps a ghastly prospect for U.S. journalists (By John M. Glionna)
6. Obama to propose strict new regulation of financial industry (By Jim Puzzanghera)
7. Porn actress tests positive for HIV (By Rong-Gong Lin II and Kimi Yoshino)
8. Family, friends mourn ‘Neda,’ Iranian woman who died on video (By Borzou Daragahi)
9. My dad saved me, and I killed him (By Richard Farrell)
10. Porn star recalls nightmare of testing HIV positive (By Rong-Gong Lin II)
Most-viewed photo galleries for June
1. Michael Jackson | 1958-2009
2. Fans mourn Michael Jackson
3. Lakers courtside: Celebrities at Staples
4. Road trips from SoCal
5. Lakers parade and rally
6. Michael Jackson: Life in pictures
7. Farrah Fawcett: 1947-2009
8. Bizarre and unusual destinations
9. Air France crash
10. Police disperse thousands as celebrations turn ugly after Lakers’ NBA Finals win

Lastly, check out these social media highlights from Andrew Nystrom:

The primary L.A. Times Twitter audience ( increased by 10% within a few hours of L.A. Now and Nita’s @latimescitydesk account ( confirming Michael Jackson’s death; readership just surpassed 30,000 followers and now outpaces breaking e-mail alert subscribers.

In video news, Mark Milian’s eyewitness interviews with Michael Jackson fans at Detroit’s Motown Museum drew 500,000 streams and 4,000+ comments on within 48 hours of posting:

Michael Muskal grew his Twitter audience by more than 20% by live-twittering Obama news conference and other major events; he reports this process flows nicely into his early blog posts and web-first news stories.

Andrew Malcolm and Top of the Ticket has surpassed 23,000 followers on Our 169 LAT-related accounts are fast approaching 200,000 followers in aggregate.

Next up? More Facebook fan pages for columnists and reporters – the main LAT Facebook page now has more than 2,400 fans and its own “vanity” URL: (or, if you prefer,

That’s it. Thanks for reading and thanks to those of you -- so many -- for continued great work that resonates with our readers.

Meredith Artley
Managing Editor, Online