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While the previous Talking Texan post may lament the declining numbers of print newspaper circulation, the audience for online news is continuing to grow. In fact, 2011 marks the first year in which the online news audience has surpassed the print audience, according to Pew’s State of the News Media.

Surprisingly however, that trend is not echoed on college campuses where students are still more likely to pick up the print edition than search for news online.

But it seems that The Daily Texan, and its newly redesigned website, may be bucking that trend, or at least reaping the benefits of some timely breaking news. On Sunday night, the top two search terms on the site were “Afghanistan” and “bin Laden,” demonstrating that people visit dailytexanonline.com for international as well as local and campus news. The third most popular search term, was “fireworks” referencing the explosive showing on West Campus in celebration of the bin Laden news.

From when the new site went live late Saturday night through this writing, dailytexanonline.com has had over 30,000 unique page views.

One of the many things that the Texan has succeeded at in its coverage of a world-wide story is relating that story to the campus community. Tuesday’s front page story on the UT alumnus who helped lead the effort to bring down Osama bin Laden, accounts for half of the total unique page views the site has received.

The multimedia components of the bin Laden story have also garnered a lot of attention, with the video and slideshow of the local reaction getting almost 1,000 unique hits.

However, it’s not just the big breaking news events that are drawing traffic to the site. The third most popular story is about Steve Carell’s departure from “The Office”, which has also generated a number of comments.

The ability for readers to comment on stories, whether they be about news, entertainment, or sports, is a great feature for any website. And it is hopefully just one of many features that the newly redesigned dailytexanonline.com will have to allow interaction between the newspaper and its audience. Greater interaction, and great news coverage, is what will keep bringing people back to the site, and allow the numbers to keep on counting up.