Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Mass Shootings, Lisa Marie Presley’s Passing and Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Rank Among the Top Articles Read in the United States for 2023 

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — SmartNews, a global leader in news discovery, today shared its analysis of the top articles consumed on its platform in the U.S. across a variety of categories. The top articles are segmented by Page Views (the number of times an article is viewed), Time Spent (the total time readers spent reading an article), Most Shared (the number of shares per article), top articles per state, and by month.

In 2023, the top headline across all three categories (page views, time spent, and most shared) pertained to the passing of Lisa Marie Presley. The article earned more page views, reading time, and shares than any other article on the SmartNews platform in 2023.

Crime and safety articles were among the most open and read stories among users. However, the second most-shared article of 2023 carried this more heartwarming headline: “Children who spend time with their grandparents are more secure and happier, studies reveal.”

U.S. readers consumed more than 75 billion words in the SmartNews app through November 30, 2023. For context, if each of these words was a step in a straight line, it would be enough to walk around the Earth approximately 1,459 times. The analysis’ data demonstrates a broad diversity of interests, but importantly, also highlights common themes Americans love to read about.

Top 100 Page View Trends: Tragic Incidents, Celebrity Farewells and Global Tensions
The most-viewed articles for all of 2023 tell a compelling story of a nation grappling with tragedies, celebrity losses, political turmoil, and international tensions.

  1. Mass Shootings: Reports on multiple mass shootings and violent incidents throughout the year led page views. Of the top 10 most viewed articles, four were related to mass shootings or murders. 
  2. Icons Lost: The deaths of beloved figures like Lisa Marie Presley, Matthew Perry, Raquel Welch, Cindy Williams, Tina Turner, David Crosby, Jerry Springer, and others garnered significant attention, highlighting the impact of celebrity farewells on public consciousness.
  3. Legal Proceedings & Trump: Prominent legal matters, including trials, indictments and legal actions against public figures, kept readers engaged. In particular, Donald Trump’s legal woes.
  4. Nature’s Wrath: Natural disasters, from wildfires in Maui to earthquakes in Ojai and tornadoes in multiple states, underscored the widespread concern over environmental events.
  5. Health Incidents: Articles covering health-related incidents, like the critical condition of Bills safety Damar Hamlin, reflected a collective concern for well-being.
  6. Media and Entertainment: Shifts and events in the media industry, including departures from Fox News and CNN and the passing of comedian Richard Belzer, showcased the dynamic nature of media and entertainment.
  7. Global Tensions: International incidents, from collisions between a Russian fighter and a US drone to attacks on American bases in Syria, emphasized the ongoing global challenges affecting the nation. In addition to this, international events like the China-related spy balloon incident showcased a keen interest in political and global developments.

Most Shared Stories: From Celebrity Losses to Technological Warnings
In the age of social media, certain stories resonated deeply, resulting in widespread sharing and discussions across digital platforms.

  1. Celebrity Tributes: The passing of notable figures, including Lisa Marie Presley, Tina Turner, Matthew Perry, and others, became a recurring theme in the most shared articles, reflecting the collective desire to pay tribute.
  2. Health Alerts & Technology Warnings: Articles warning about health risks, like potential dangers associated with medications and products like eye drops and exercise bikes, as well as technology-related alerts, received widespread sharing, indicating a shared concern for well-being and safety.
  3. Legal Developments and Political Unrest: Political events, legal challenges faced by Donald Trump, and updates on the firing of Don Lemon stirred conversations, contributing to the shared nature of these articles.
  4. Consumer Awareness on Recalls & Financial Advice: Warnings about product recalls (Peloton, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, and Toyota), financial concerns, and consumer advice resonated widely, emphasizing the importance of consumer awareness
  5. Science, Culture & Environment: Headlines discussing astronomical events, changes in work practices like the adoption of a four-day workweek, and environmental occurrences like wildfires and the Northern Lights sparked interest and conversations on social and cultural phenomena.

Time Spent Reading: Emotional Narratives, Legal Intricacies and Global Affairs  
In the realm of time spent reading, emotional narratives, legal intricacies and global affairs took center stage, highlighting a deeper engagement with certain themes.

  1. Emotional Farewells: The detailed exploration of celebrity deaths, personal narratives like a dying woman’s farewell to her parrot, and emotional stories surrounding tragic events captivated readers for extended periods.
  2. Donald Trump: Like page views, Donald Trump commanded 18 of the top 100 articles in terms of time spent reading in 2023. This helps illustrate a keen interest in the former president’s legal affairs. 
  3. Crime: Readers delved into the intricate details of true crime stories, investigations and personal narratives. From the University of Idaho murder case to the Nashville school shooting, 13 of the 100 articles related to true crime.
  4. Social Issues: A woman’s struggle to get an abortion, a teacher being shot by a first-grader, and a girl’s effort to save her goat from slaughter, sparked meaningful conversations and prolonged reading sessions.
  5. Medical Cases and Health Insights: Detailed examinations of medical cases, health issues, and the experiences of medical professionals provided readers with valuable insights into healthcare-related content.

Top Stories Segmented by State
On a regional, state-by-state basis, SmartNews’s data reveals the unique narratives that captivated each state throughout the year. There were nuanced perspectives—and common themes—in the stories that resonated most deeply with communities across the United States. Each of the following represents the most read articles (by page view), per state:

  1. A Story of Hope & Reunification: The only state whose residents apparently do not read stories of doom and gloom more than anything else live in Vermont, whose state motto is “Freedom and Unity.” Topping the most-read list was the heartwarming story of Dyan, a South Sudanese refugee who was reunited with his family after four years of separation.
  2. Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin: This past year, North Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas all shared a passion for sports, expressing their concern for star safety Damar Hamlin—who collapsed midgame—by reading that article more than any other.
  3. High Altitude Objects!: Montana and Alaska both kept their eyes open for “high-altitude objects.” While the object flying over Alaska was never found, it was later reported the object in Montana was a Chinese spy balloon.
  4. The Loss of Lisa Marie Presley: The top news article in more than half of the U.S. (30 states in all) pertained to the passing of Lisa Marie Presley, including: South Carolina, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Maryland, Florida, South Dakota, Georgia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Utah, Louisiana, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.
  5. Mass Shootings: Several states were focused on firearms-related incidents in their communities.
    1. Tennessee, Alabama, Colorado, and Mississippi all read about the Nashville school shooting more than any other article.
    2. California and Nevada both consumed news of the Monterey Park, Calif., shooting more than any other article.
    3. Kentuckians read the news of the Louisville Old National Bank shooting more than any other article.
    4. Michigan consumed the news of the Michigan State shooting most.
    5. Maine was concerned for its safety as the state read the news of an at-large shooter that took innocent lives in the Portland area more than any other article.
  6. Donald Trump: The former president was the preferred subject for Oregon and Washington, which each read about Trump’s New York grand jury indictment more than any other article.
  7. Natural Disasters: Arkansas and Hawaii kept a close eye on the natural disasters in their states, including deadly tornadoes that killed at least 12 and the destructive wildfires in Maui, which killed 100 people. 
  8. Matthew Perry: The passing of the lauded “Friends” star dominated the headlines in Idaho, which read about his death more than any other article in 2023.

Top Stories Each Month
In analyzing top news stories on a month-by-month basis, SmartNews‘ data shows the public’s sustained interest in celebrity news, the intersection of politics and law, and the lasting resonance of tragic events. The top headlines for each month by Page View were:

  1. January: “Lisa Marie Presley, Daughter of Elvis and Priscilla, Dead at 54: ‘The Most Strong and Loving Woman'”
  2. February: “Raquel Welch, One Million Years B.C. Actress and Hollywood Sex Symbol, Dead at 82″
  3. March: “Nashville school shooting: Seven fatally shot at Covenant School in Nashville, including 28-year-old suspect”
  4. April: “Monday live updates: Fifth victim of downtown shooting identified (Louisville, KY Old National Bank shooting)”
  5. May: “Texas mass shooting survivor speaks out: ‘I can’t believe what he did'”
  6. June: “Titanic submersible live updates: ‘Catastrophic implosion’ killed five aboard, possibly Sunday”
  7. July: “Julian Sands, 65, Confirmed Dead 5 Months After Actor Disappeared While Hiking’
  8. August: “Trump’s mug shot in Fulton County released”
  9. September: “Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life for raping former Scientologists”
  10. October: “‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Dead at 54 After Apparent Drowning”
  11. November: “Secret Service agents protecting Biden’s granddaughter open fire when 3 people try to break into SUV”

For more information on SmartNews or to download the app, please visit https://www.smartnews.com/en.

About SmartNews 
Founded in 2012, SmartNews is a leading global information and news discovery company, dedicated to delivering quality information to the people who need it. SmartNews provides news that matters to millions of users thanks to its unique machine learning technology and relationships with more than 3,000 global publisher partners.

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SOURCE SmartNews

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/smartnewss-2023-year-in-review–the-headlines-that-captured-americas-attention-302019782.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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