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MediaDecember 31, 2020

The top 20 of 2020: The Spinoff’s most-read pieces in the diabolical year


North of 50 million posts were served up for your reading pleasure (and, let’s face it, sometimes, reading terror) across the year. As we bid farewell to 2020, here are the 20 that got clicked on the most, countdown style.


A better visual breakdown of the 2020 election results

Remember the election? Neither. Here’s a brilliant way to jog your memory.


Everything you need to know about buying and making masks

Masks! A bookmark-worthy one from Angela Cuming.


What’s up with New Zealand’s housing market?

A perennial question, confronted by the NZIER.


All 142 biscuit flavours in New Zealand ranked from worst to best

A Madeleine Chapman classic.


The Side Eye: Weed versus Booze

A Toby Morris classic.


Every dairy lolly in New Zealand, reviewed and ranked

A Madeleine Chapman classic.


Three Auckland eateries linked to new Covid-19 cases

Remember these stories? There were plenty.


What time will we know the NZ election result – and what about the referendums? 

I confess, this was headlined with the search engine user in mind. But still, how about that election?


Fresh Google mobility data shows NZ’s lockdown behaviour remains consistent – with one regional exception

Duncan Greive on what the data told us about alert level compliance.


What you’re entitled to under the Covid-19 wage subsidy

News you can use from business editor Michael Andrew.


Live updates, November 5: US election – Biden closes gap in Georgia; Trump tries to stop vote count

Live updates, launched in the tumultuous news-avalanche days of peak Covid, have become a critical part of the Spinoff mix, and we welcome Stewart Sowman Lund to helm them. The most read of all wasn’t about New Zealand at all, however.


Bloomfield warns of ‘flashing orange’ alert as Auckland church cluster grows

This year we welcomed to the team Justin Giovannetti, our first press gallery appointment. Justin had a rare knack of finding and telling stories that were otherwise missed. Here’s one.


Covid-19: Every New Zealand case, mapped and charted

I’m constantly awed by Chris McDowall and his ability to visualise ideas in accessible, clear and creative ways. Through the weeks of edge-of-seat 1pm updates, Chris’s visualisations helped make sense of it all. This was the most read of the many posts.


The Side Eye: Viruses vs everybody

A brilliant, and timely, Side Eye from the inimitable Toby Morris, featuring a microbiologist you may be familiar with.


Review: Netflix’s Space Force crashes and burns with a laughless first season

An excoriating review from Sam Brooks.


What are the rules for lockdown in New Zealand?

In the midst of the Covid upheaval, we did our best to produce clear and useful explainers in a fast-moving crisis. This one, from Sam Brooks, was among the most popular.


The world is on fire: My message to New Zealanders on Covid-19

An impassioned and brilliant appeal by Siouxsie Wiles, shaking the doubts out of many, published in mid-March.


Down the rabbit hole with the Covid-19 conspiracists

As early as mid-March the disinformation super highway was congested. Emily Writes went in deep, and no one writes them quite like she does.


What does level two mean, and why does it matter?

It’s difficult to overstate the impact of super-collaboration Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris in 2020. This list would be a Toby and Siouxsie every second entry, so I’ve taken the ruthless decision to just include this one, the most popular, read in massive numbers in New Zealand and around the world. It included one of their most impactful and brilliant animations. This one:


The Truth about Adrenochrome

This one caught a Google wave, ranking high in search results served up for people looking to understand what was up with all the online talk about adrenochrome. Josie Adams’ enjoyable debunking hopefully set a few people straight. This piece produced extraordinary numbers, with around 2.5 million page views and counting, making it our most read piece ever. It was so popular, we published another post about how popular it was.

Happy new year!

Keep going!