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Guardian sees reader support climb as it tops news outlet polls for Covid-19 coverage

Posted on: April 30, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Guardian has seen a surge in readers providing financial support to the paper over the last year as figures increase by a quarter on last year.

The news comes as a Google search metrics report this week showed the Guardian’s website led the UK rankings for searches about Covid-19. Results from guardian.com appeared more often than the World Health Organisation and government sources.

In a press release, the Guardian announced it had 821,000 recurring monthly supporters by 30 March 2020 – which equates to a 23% increase over the past 12 months.

The publication said in April 2020 it has gained an additional 50,000 recurring supporters at a rate of 2-3 times faster than usual, as readers turn to news outlets for trusted coronavirus news.

The Guardian has attributed its growth to the launch of its paid Daily app in October 2019 as digital subscriptions increased by 39% across its premium apps and tablet editions.

Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner (pictured) said: “Over the last 12 months the Guardian has provided independent, fact-based journalism to unprecedented numbers of readers. Readership and financial support from readers have grown at record rates during the past two months of the coronavirus.

“While the future is tough for news organisations, we are very grateful to Guardian readers around the world, who are helping us to ensure that high-quality news is accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

In addition, this week the Guardian emerged top out of newspapers in a poll by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute asking which outlets have done a ‘good job of covering coronavirus’.

In the survey on trust, 60% of participants thought BBC News was doing a good job of covering Covid-19 news – the most highly rated newspaper was the Guardian with 25% of participants.

The survey was designed by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford to collect data on how people navigate news and information during the coronavirus pandemic and was fielded by YouGov.

However, the survey showed overall the majority of participants (57%) rate news organisations as trustworthy sources of information specifically on coronavirus, compared to technology companies (15%).