Journalists love year-end lists.
It's our way of filling holiday space with content we've already produced so we can focus on more important things, like family, Christmas lights and New Year's celebrations.
Um, just in case my boss is reading this (instead of watching "It's a Wonderful Life" for the umpteenth time), what I meant to say was: "Year in review" lists are a great way to reflect on the past year while thoughtfully looking ahead to the new one.
I write four posts a week for GetReligion. In a year, that adds up to more than 200 times that I share my critiques of religion news coverage (or lack of coverage) by the mainstream media.
Since you do me the courtesy of reading my posts and frequently commenting on them — both here on the website and via channels such as Twitter and Facebook — I thought you might be interested in my most-read posts of 2016.
There's a mix of sports, politics, entertainment, human interest, Godbeat news and culture war stuff among my top 10. And yes, Donald Trump figures in two of the top three posts.
Drum roll, please ...
10. After Orlando shooting, Chick-fil-A opens on Sunday to help — did the news media ignore?
9. Guilty until proven innocent: Whole Foods denies selling anti-gay cake, makes headlines anyway.
8. Huffington Post losing its religion: What's up as key staffers leave and news org drops RNS?
7. Husband and wife of 63 years die 20 minutes apart — and the religious details are beautiful.
6. What media coverage tells us about (lack of) faith of 'Story of God' host Morgan Freeman.
5. There's a reason Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully kept mentioning God during his farewell tour.
4. Merle Haggard's Church of Christ mama tried to raise him better, and he embraced Jesus as Lord.
3. Who is Mark Burns? Prosperity gospel takes center stage at Republican National Convention.
2. Why Donald Trump didn't REALLY mess up when he said 'Two Corinthians' instead of 'Second Corinthians.'
1. Tragic death of NBA coach's wife Ingrid Williams and a missing element in the news.
I wish I could say I know when a post will resonate with readers. But honestly, if I could figure out the exact secret formula (while staying true to our mission of promoting quality journalism on religion), I'd use it more often. Often, though, I'm surprised by which posts rack up the clicks and which ones don't.
As we prepare to mark the arrival of 2017, feel free to weigh in: Why do you read GetReligion? How we could do a better job of serving your interests over the next 12 months?
By the way, in case I neglect to say it later: Happy New Year!