So what were the big stories of 2018?
Thanks to technology, it’s no longer a guessing game conducted by news editors. Google analytics tells online news sites, like ours, exactly what stories resonated with readers and which ones didn’t.
So what were the most read Prince George Daily News stories of 2018?
Death from the sky in northern B.C.
In late March Peter Ewart covered a public meeting at UNBC organized by Stop The Spray BC, who are calling for the province to stop spraying the herbicide glyphosate on our forests to curb the growth of broadleaf species like aspen, birch, cottonwood and willow and make way for spruce, pine, and fir.
The story, as they say, went viral (or as viral as we can get), and has had 118,759 unique page views our our site.
The day that light forgot
August 17 dawned clear, but not bright. Smoke from wildfires west of the city was so intense that 9 a.m. on a summer morning was like 9 p.m. on a winter’s evening. The smoke had blotted out the sun from the sky and day turned to night. We shot a Facebook live video of the city from the top of University Hill. The video also went ‘viral.’ It reached 188,664 people on Facebook and was viewed more than 78,000 times.
Here’s what you don’t know about Kinder Morgan
A bit of a surprise for our No. 3 story. On April 3 we published an op-ed from Green Party leader Elizabeth May on, you guessed it, Kinder Morgan.
Pedestrian killed on Highway 97 in front of CNC
On June 6 the community was shocked when College of New Caledondia student Sandeep Kaur was struck by a vehicle and killed. The driver, Michelle Dac, is facing charges following the death, which prompted plenty of discussion in the community about pedestrian safety at CNC. In the aftermath, CNC has ripped up a walkway that led to a decommissioned bus stop near where Kaur was killed. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has erected a fence between lanes on Highway 97, and is putting left-turn signals at the intersection of Highway 97 and 22nd Avenue.
True crime stories
Police activity is always of interest to readers who are keenly interested in what is going on in the community. Stories about criminal activity are always well read. Some of our most read police-related stories were a armed robbery at the Real Canadian Superstore, a violent few days in Dawson Creek, incidents of a man approaching local youth, police urging motorists to stay off the roads during a particular bad storm last winter, and a woman charged with excessive speeding on Giscome Road.
Horgan gets and earful from wildfire victim’s daughter
When Premier John Horgan came to get an update during height of the wildfire season August 21, Carmen Nutter crashed the party. She told of her 85-year-old father who lost his home on the south side of Francois Lake in the Verdun wildfire. She wanted answers about how her father will be compensated, obviously, but she also wanted answers to the bigger questions surrounding the two devastating fire seasons in a row, such as why we’re getting bigger fires and why we can’t deal with them before they get out of control. Horgan, to his credit, had a 20-minute private sit-down with Nutter.
Never give up – Debbie’s Story
Our next most read story was about burn survivor Debbie Wood. When she was a toddler, she received third degree burns to 95 per cent of her body. She told her story about her life, growing up marked by the scars of her ordeal.
College Heights Secondary deals with sudden death of student
In October, College Heights Secondary students and staff dealt with the suicide of two students within a week of each other.
Drought evident as Fraser riverbed becomes city playground
At the end of October the Fraser River riverbed became a playground as the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser rivers all but dried up. Goat Island was no longer an island as the drought that gripped northern B.C. made itself known in a very visual way.