Newspapers have always had an idea of how many people read the paper -- just count the number of copies sold.
But gauging which stories in those editions gained traction with readers has largely been a guessing game until the digital age.
Now, many papers, including The Montana Standard, can measure exactly which stories get read online, how long readers spend on each story, and even how readers share their news on social media.
All that data give papers a better idea of what kind of news readers value.
In 2014, readers were captivated by people and controversy. Among the most popular stories were pieces about Rob O'Neill, the Butte native and former Navy SEAL who came forward as the man who killed Osama bin Laden; Mairissa Peoples, a courageous student who died after battling cancer; and the hubbub over Evel Knievel Days.