State of Publishing: January 2018 –…

State of Publishing: January 2018 – US Market

Who Won the Top Stories This Month?

Top 20 Publishers


Compared to the relatively stagnant rankings in December, January saw a solid shakeup in the pecking order.

The Atlantic joined the Top 20 due in part to their popular opinion piece on Aziz Ansari, while The Daily Beast likely rose due to coverage on interactions between Donald Trump and an adult film star. The WSJ revealed that Trump’s lawyer paid to silence the film star, which may have boosted to their traffic as well. Traditionally conservative papers, New York Post and The Hill, saw a slight drop this month.

State of Publishing Jan 2018: Top 20 Publishers

Trending Topics


After Congress returned from the holidays, the political news cycle was back in full force. Between the government shutdown, Trump’s comments about immigrants from “sh*thole” countries and rumblings of an FBI scandal, a couple non-political themes managed to rise to the surface: the polar vortex and Aziz Ansari story made it into the top 5 articles as well.

Sh*thole Countries


According to several sources, President Trump asked why America brings in so many immigrants from “sh*thole countries” during an Oval Office meeting. Although the top Washington Post article on this incident was consumed mostly by young people, the overall readership on this topic reflected a fairly even range of age groups.

However, the regional breakdowns of readers suggests that only coastal Americans were interested in learning about this incident, while Southerners and Midwesterners were not.

Aziz Ansari Reactions


On Jan 14th Babe.net published an anonymous account by a woman who went on a date with comedian Aziz Ansari, which she described as “the worst night of my life.”

This was the latest in a string of women speaking out against sexual misconduct, but it also resulted in a lot of public discourse on what constitutes assault. The two top articles on this subject, from  the NY Times and The Atlantic, were read by more young men than women. Only coastal readers were interested in this very celebrity-centric story.

Government Shutdown


The government funding deadline was highly publicized in January, and centered around partisan immigration issues. Although the shutdown has been temporarily delayed, it continues to attract coverage in February.

Readership on this topic appears distributed fairly evenly in terms of age, but also attracted a lot of middle America and Southern readers (unlike other political stories, which were perhaps more unfavorable towards the president).