What Makes a Story Newsworthy Two Years Later?

A 2014 story on teen birth control in Nepal has new life, thanks to the magic of social media.

GPI, HQ — Having access to all the metrics and data on web traffic and social media engagement is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to be able to track how people interact with stories in the digital world, but what if the things you really want to measure aren’t clicks or retweets or shares? What if your ultimate goal is to provide information that helps inform and educate people and, in turn, ignites social change? What if you really want to measure the impact of your journalism?

For example, in June 2014, Global Press Journal published a story in which local experts warned that teenage girls in Nepal are putting their health at risk by using emergency contraceptive pills as their sole form of birth control.

This story received thousands of hits nearly two years after it was published.

This story didn’t receive much attention in the way of social media engagement when it was first shared via GPJ’s official social media channels (Facebook and Twitter). But according to Google Analytics, the story has had thousands of page views. Almost half of the page views occurred in October 2015, more than a year after the story was published.

It turns out that an NGO based in Nepal shared that story’s link on its Facebook page on Oct. 5 of that year. That Facebook post garnered 22 likes and two shares. Google Analytics data shows a huge increase in visits to this story’s page on Oct. 6 and 7, and more than half of the visits came from Nepal. I think it’s safe to say that this organization’s Facebook post drove those visits to our site.

Before and after the October Facebook share, the second-biggest driver to the story page was organic Google searches. About half of that search traffic came from Asia.

But the really interesting data point, to me, is the long tail this story seems to have. It was published almost two years ago, but readers continue to find and read it. Although the average time a reader spends on a page can be a false data point, for this story, the readers from Asia spend more than twice as long on the page. That leads me to believe that they’re reading the entire story of 2,682 words! This is why GPJ stories are so important to the communities we cover. We’re telling stories that are often overlooked by both local and foreign media. GPJ stories, in turn, provide local readers with greater access to information.

The post was originally published at https://globalpressjournal.com/between-the-lines/makes-story-newsworthy-two-years-later/