As the most frequent editor of our Sightline Daily news service, I’ve developed a pretty good sense of what our subscribers like to read. In case you didn’t know, people will always click on a story about someone who converted a 1973 VW bus into a back yard chicken coop and lawnmower shed. But I’ve also been heartened to see that whenever I include a comprehensive story or series that reflects high-quality journalism that still gets done these days, people click on those too.
It recently occurred to me to look through the most popular stories of the last year and get an even clearer picture of who my audience is. It turns out, there are some clear themes. And the news items that you, dear readers, most wanted to read say some interesting things about you too.
If the items below sound like you or someone you know, go ahead and sign up for Sightline Daily. Tell your friends. You might win a weekend getaway in Seattle. And I’m already stumbling to the coffeemaker most mornings and scrolling through thousands of headlines so you don’t have to.
Here’s what our most-clicked stories reveal about our loyal subscribers:
1. You love to hate climate skeptics:
Skeptic talking points melt away, The New York Times
2. You’re afraid that said skeptics will cause the end of the world:
The first 4 minutes, Portland Mercury
3. You’re worried a bike crash might kill you first:
What causes bike crashes? Portland Mercury
With very few exceptions, America is no place for bicyclists, The Economist
4. To cheer yourself, you like looking at pictures of dams being blown up:
On the Elwha, a lunar landscape emerges, Seattle Times
Condit Dam reservoir behavior murky after breach, Vancouver Columbian
5. You think your city is better than others:
Portland vs. Vancouver smackdown, The Globe and Mail
6. You’re trying to live a greener life:
Four foods to stop wasting, Grist
Seattle to Portland for $1, Geekwire
7. You secretly think you might be falling short:
Deeply embarassed white people talk awkwardly about race, The Stranger
We have enough humans, thanks, Portland Mercury
8. You know a good question when you see one:
Why aren’t cities littered with dead pigeons? Atlantic Cities