Todd, here’s a thought — Medium is not a newspaper.
A newspaper looks the same to everyone.
Medium is a million newspapers.
It looks different to,
It is different for,
no such thing
as a “top story” that
everyone on Medium will see.
What you see depends on your preferences, your tastes.
If there are one thousand active contributors on a given day, and your homepage fits 12 stories, then the number of different permutations for a homepage is 9.36 times 10 to the 35th power.
The actual numbers are much higher.
So, your goal as an ambitious author, on the gamified eyeball economy called Medium, should be to ensure that your story lands in the top 12 in as many as possible of the basically infinitesimal different permutations of the landing page.
Good luck : )