A newspaper group’s website recorded its highest ever levels of traffic during its coverage of yesterday’s 130-car pile-up on the Isle of Sheppey crossing.
More than 120,000 unique browsers visited KM Group’s KentOnline website to watch the drama unfold throughout the day, making it the most viewed story since the site was launched in 2000.
Reporters also filed regular updates to the family-owned firm’s network of kmfm radio stations, which provided travel updates and breaking news of one of Kent’s worst ever accidents throughout the day .
Sittingbourne Messenger editor Matt Ramsden remade this week’s edition on deadline – moving the adverts from front of book pages to provide in-depth coverage.
KM Group editorial director Ian Carter paid tribute to a ‘brilliant’ team effort involving all parts of the company, from the subs and page planners who remade papers on deadline, to the photographers providing stills and video and the radio presenters who kept listeners informed throughout the day.
“It really was a case of everyone pulling together, with the online content superbly marshalled by editor Sandra Hembery and news editor Danny Boyle,” he said.
“We’re incredibly fortunate at the KM Group that, in addition to our websites and newspapers, we have our kmfm radio stations and all parts of the company work together as one. It meant we could provide the complete news package.
“We knew it was a big story but even so we were taken by surprise by quite how much traffic it generated, particularly because it was also leading the BBC and Sky bulletins.
“Of course, reacting to huge breaking news is what all journalists should live for. However, it’s gratifying that our most-read story since launch was a major incident rather than the current depressing trend for uploading gimmicky non-stories in the hope they go viral.”
KentOnline was the fastest-growing regional news network in the lastest ABCs, with monthly unique browsers increasing by 41.3pc year on year.