The year 2013 was very good to New Mexico Telegram. There was higher traffic than 2012 (from March until end of the year, as the site began in March 2012). There were more comments, more tweets about the site… more everything.
Dozens of you have donated thousands of dollars to make sure I can keep doing this wacky little website.
And all of this came because of more than 750 posts (this is post number 773). In the first three months of the year alone, NM Telegram boasted more than 300 posts, from the weekdaily Morning Word to late-night updates on what the state legislature was doing. But, of course, some posts are more popular than others. Using Google Analytics, here are the top ten posts by traffic.
A story on the fate of three sitting city councilors up for election barely cracked the top ten in 2013. Isaac Benton defeated Roxanne Meyers in an expensive, bruising race between two sitting city councilors (thanks to redistricting, Benton’s district was eliminated). Meanwhile, Janice Arnold-Jones would be forced into a runoff with Diane Gibson in November after failing to reach the 50 percent mark.
This was at the end of that busy three-month period to start the year and came after the session on a Friday afternoon. Martinez said she would agree to raising the minimum wage to $7.80 but not the $8.50 that the legislature passed — and further opposed a provision that tied the minimum wage to inflation.
The only entry to the list to come from traditionally traffic-dead December, this came just after the state Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Mexico. Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, still opposes the idea and continues the fight against same-sex marriage.
The San Juan Generating Station has been a source of controversy for years. And with new environmental rules coming into place, the aging power plant needed to do something to reduce pollution. A deal would shutter two coal units by 2017.
Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, introduced what she thought was just another bill related to abortion. But the vague wording meant an abortion of a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest would mean the woman who had the abortion could be jailed for tampering with evidence. Brown later submitted a substitute bill which went nowhere.
The biggest open government story of the year was the battle over the behavioral health audit. The full audit remains secret, but the attorney general and Human Services Department did release a partial version of the audit with long passages redacted. Again, it was released on a Friday afternoon — but still hit the top-ten for most traffic.
The story by Peter St. Cyr looked at the 11 candidates who intended to run for city council in Albuquerque. Not all ended up making the ballots — but it was the beginning of notable municipal elections. This is also the only piece not written by me that cracked the top-ten.
Same-sex marriage dominated the news over the final months of the year. And the news of a court ordering Santa Fe County to give same-sex couples marriage licenses was huge — a first in state history. These were the first same-sex couples to be given marriage certificates by a county clerk following a court order.
Albuquerque voters rejected a ban on abortions after 20-weeks — and also elected Diane Gibson to the city council. The liveblog was followed by many interested observers — nearly six hours of coverage. Look for more liveblogs during the legislative session.
The internet is a weird place. A short blurb about President Barack Obama signing a bill with origins in New Mexico into law went viral on Facebook and was by far the most-read piece of 2013 on New Mexico Telegram — more than twice as many unique visitors as second place. The bill requires DNA collection from those arrested for felonies.
So there you go, the stories that the most people read. On Monday, NM Telegram will have the favorite stories of the year — and on Tuesday the top stories of the year. Thanks again for reading — even if I don’t know why some of these stories went viral when others did not.