Following Thursday’s announcement of The Washington Post’s record month in traffic, senior editors shared a memo with staff highlighting newsroom successes:
As you all know by now, Comscore announced Thursday that we again shattered our traffic records, attracting 59.2 million total digital unique visitors for September, 41 percent growth year over year. These spectacular results are a testament to the great work done by all of you, in all parts of the newsroom, and with our great partners in technology. The growth from our previous record of 54.4 million, set in June, was driven by an increase in readers on the mobile web using smartphones. Our mWeb audience on smartphones beat the New York Times in both the size of our audience and in engagement. The success on mweb proves that you have successfully embraced the newsroom-wide training program, led by Mark Smith and Tessa Muggeridge, that was conducted over the past six months. By ensuring that your stories have a photo that can appear on social sites, a strong digital headline and smart links to related content your work is being seen by more people than ever.
There were many great performances in September. We were led in unique readers by two offerings from Local: An Answer Sheet piece by Valerie Strauss on the decline of play in preschools and Lynh Bui’s coverage of a crash that left three children without parents.
Four National pieces were critical to our success: Robert Costa on John Boehner’s last evening before quitting; Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig on whether the Clinton email servers had actually been wiped; Amber Phillips in The Fix on Jimmy Fallon’s interview with Chris Christie, and Greg Jaffe on Obama nominating Eric Fanning for Secretary of the Army.
The back and forth in Post Everything between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Donald Trump drew a very large audience as did Abby Phillip’s coverage of the trial of a Massachusetts teen accused of pressuring her boyfriend to commit suicide. The Morning Mix and GA team coverage by Sarah Kaplan and Abby Phillip of the ninth grader in Texas whose home-made clock was mistaken for a bomb also did well.
Finally, our wonderful coverage of the papal visit drew readers to content from all parts of the newsroom, from an Anthony Faiola piece in World on how Vatican conservatives were reacting to Pope Francis’s new policies to Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey on the Pope stopping his car to bless a boy with cerebral palsy. PowerPost had a big hit by Colby Itkowitz on Rep. Bob Brady grabbing a water glass used by the Pope Francis.
Power Post had a solid month under the leadership of Rachel Van Dongen, assuming a spot among our most-visited verticals. As usual, Morning Mix, The Fix, Wonkblog, Post Politics and Worldviews were again the most popular spots for our readers to visit in September.
There are too many more to mention but you get the idea. We see our best results when we all work together. And we see record results in platforms like the mobile web when we combine great journalism with great story acquisition techniques. Thank you and congratulations.
Marty Baron, Kevin Merida, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz