CONCORD, NH — Many of us are welcoming the end of 2020, easily one of the worst years of some of our lives, for different reasons.
However, for many, most of this consternation and pain is center around the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic. Few would argue about the tumultuous nature of this year which, frankly, started out to be relatively positive and hopeful for most Americans and then, became tragic.
At New Hampshire Patch, 2020 was insanely busy. Thousands of stories and posts were published on our 12 news and community websites (covering 13 communities) by me as well as news partners Jeffrey Hastings, InDepthNH.org, and NH Journal, too, which just joined us during the past few weeks.
At this time last year, while analyzing some of the end of 2019 info, I was astonished to see our sites at around 14 million page views for the year. By the end of 2020, Patch in New Hampshire will have more than 19.8 million page views — a breathtaking and staggering number to consider.
A lot of those new numbers were, indeed, driven by COVID-19. But even before the pandemic, the first two months of the year were solid as we continued to grow audience in the state.
Not surprisingly, many of the top stories and posts were connected to coronavirus.
One was the announcement that Market Basket was reducing its hours during the first few weeks of the pandemic. Other stories were early in the pandemic, too, including a confirmed diagnosis at a Bedford business park in mid-March and the prompting of a "stay at home" order by Gov. Chris Sununu in late March. Sununu extending the state's emergency order for a third time., the emergence of the ReopenNH movement, as well as the cancelation of the Deerfield Fair, for the first time in its nearly 150 year history, were also popular reads in April and June.
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A teenager who was missing for a couple of days gripped the capital city this summer and received more than 51,000 shares on Facebook. Recently, the discovery of a body inside of a car in the parking lot of a towing business in Concord, the late Evelyne Boley, was also read by tens of thousands. A fatal crash on Route 106 in Concord, too, was read by a lot of people in the city.
One of the most bizarre and shocking stories of the year was the arrest of Armando Barron and his wife, Britany, who were accused of shooting and mutilating Jonathan Amerault of Keene.
A shooting in the parking lot of a Queen City Walmart also garnered a lot of readers. Another tragic story from Manchester was the identification of a body found in the Merrimack River.
Can you guess what the most read story of the 2020 is? Leave a note in the comment section below and I will have a post later this week.