A drowning at a popular beach, the death of an off-duty officer on Baker Street and COVID-19 were among the most-read stories on the Nelson Star in 2020.
Contrary to what readers might expect, the pandemic did not dominate the Star’s internet traffic.
The most page views on our website, according to Google Analytics statistics from Jan. 1 to Dec. 15, belonged to our feature on Six Mile Beach where a man drowned in July.
Coverage of emergency flooding in May, which forced the evacuation of several communities, was also important to readers, as was the stunning death of a visiting Abbotsford police officer in downtown Nelson.
Death is a typical theme on these lists, but readers also gravitated to the story of a man being chased up a tree by a bear (he’s fine) as well as a plane that unexpectedly crashed in a grocery store parking lot.
Of course, COVID-19 coverage was collectively the most read in the Star this year.
The most popular pandemic story we ran was in October when the B.C. Centre for Disease Control first revealed the Nelson Local Health Area had 10 positive cases through Sept. 30, and 25 total for Nelson, Castlegar and Trail.
In the early days of the pandemic, readers were also eager to find information on cancelled events. A story in early March, just days before B.C. entered its lockdown, reported Shambhala Music Festival and Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival would go on.
Music lovers celebrated that story, but not for long — both events were later postponed for the year.
Finally, Star readers love reading letters and no correspondence was read more than C. Burton’s letter in August complaining about the state of downtown.
Here’s our top-10 most read stories of 2020, sorted by page views.
Dangerous Oasis: The fatal history of a popular Kootenay Lake beach: 19,196
(The first story, Man drowns at Six Mile beach north of Nelson, garnered 10,925 views.)
Emergency flooding: 11,092
Abbotsford officer dies following assault in Nelson: 10,767
‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls getting chased up a tree by black bear in Slocan Valley: 10,582
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020: 9,067
Man dies in backcountry near Whitewater Ski Resort: 8,510
Shambhala, Kaslo Jazz Festivals to go on despite coronavirus outbreak: 8,424
Cyclists, hikers asked to avoid new section of Columbia and Western Trail due to grizzly bear activity: 8,381
Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot: 8,089
Nelson’s Bank of Montreal branch re-opens after pipeline sit-in: 8,083
LETTER: Nelson is no longer charming: 7,459