Anchorage Daily News Traffic Soars

When the McCain campaign announced that Sarah Palin would be the Republican vice-presidential nominee in late August, few reporters knew anything about the Alaska Governor. She didn’t have much of political track record, but what was there revolved mostly around the environment. So I wrote a column arguing that journalists should dig into the archives of the Anchorage Daily News, which had done an excellent job covering Palin’s positions on oil drilling, endangered species, mining, and aerial hunting. While I don’t presume that they followed my advice per se, or that they stuck to environmental issues, that’s exactly what they (and others) did.

According to a report from Editor and Publisher, in September, “The Web site of the Anchorage Daily News zoomed up to make it in the list of top 30 online newspapers. The Web site enjoyed a 928% spike to 2.1 million monthly uniques in September, no doubt due to the paper’s excellent coverage of Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.” The monthly ratings, from Nielsen Online, also showed that “All in the top 30 experienced double-digit increases in September monthly uniques with the lone exception of Village Voice Media (down 13% to 1.7 million).”

Cheers to the ADN!

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Curtis Brainard writes on science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.