News Sites See Traffic For Katrina Info

    September 20, 2005

Whenever there’s world breaking news, news sites see more traffic. Hurricane Katrina was no different. Internet traffic for news sites in and around the Gulf Coast region saw huge increases in traffic.

Research marketing firm ComScore reported, the web site for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, saw its traffic spike 277% over July to 1.7 million in August. The CBS affiliate, WWL-TV saw it’s site increase 258% to 878,000 for August.

“Sites with specific local content rarely see this kind of growth, but the Internet allowed the entire nation to access information straight from the epicenter of the disaster,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. “This pattern underscores the continuing concern and support that all Americans have expressed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”

One figure ComScore noted was that 39% of’s 1.7 million came from the eight states included in the south central region of the country, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. This means that well over half of the 1.7 million came from other parts of the country. They pointed to the Pacific region, which accounted for 10% and the upper Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin tallied up for 11% of the audience.

It goes to show the growing impact of the Internet in the meeting the news needs of the world. Whereas both print media and broadcast media certainly have their place in the world, the Internet, realistically providing output for both of those and its own original content is becoming a powerful force in not only delivery but in the creation of content as well.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.