Readership of the New Zealand Herald has soared during the Covid-19 outbreak as Kiwis flock to trusted sources of information on the pandemic.
The number of Kiwis reading the Herald newspaper each day has skyrocketed to 546,000 in the 12 months to June 30 – up 16 per cent on the same time last year.
The Herald's weekly brand audience across digital and print is now a record 1.758 million people.
Nielsen readership results released today also show the Weekend Herald reaches 633,000 Kiwis, up 19.4 per cent on last year.
The Herald on Sunday remains the country's best-read Sunday newspaper, with year-on-year growth of 11.7 per cent to 354,000 readers.
The Northern Advocate, the Bay of Plenty Times, the Rotorua Daily Post, Hawke's Bay Today, and Whanganui Chronicle - also owned by Herald publisher New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) – all grew their readership from the last Nielsen survey.
NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said during a time of such uncertainty the company's job was to provide reliable information, balanced analysis and factual answers for Kiwis.
"At a time when the Covid crisis has caused so much upheaval, audiences are turning to sources they trust - the NZ Herald, NZME's regional newspapers, and our websites," Currie said.
"While our newspaper readership was growing prior to Covid-19, there is no doubt we've built loyalty with masses of new readers by delivering high quality journalism that they can trust. Especially during a time when the proliferation of fake news is creating yet more fear and uncertainty."
All NZME magazines also increased their readership, with Travel, Canvas, TimeOut and Viva leading the charge – Tuesday Travel magazine is up 70,000 readers, year-on-year, to 417,000.
New Zealand Herald editor Murray Kirkness described the results as "extraordinary".
"It reflects the trust Kiwis are putting in the Herald to help them make sense of what continues to be a very challenging time."
Stuart Dye, NZME's Editor Weekends, said the Weekend Herald's and Herald on Sunday's readership growth was "humbling".
"New Zealanders need news at the weekend as much as any other day of the week, but they also have time to reflect and hopefully relax a little. I'm delighted to see more and more Kiwis are including our news in their weekend life – and it's testament to the hard work of everyone in the newsroom."
The growth in New Zealand Herald Premium subscriptions is continuing its strong momentum since last year's launch. More than 82,000 Kiwis now read Herald Premium stories.
Head of Premium Miriyana Alexander said Covid-19 was both a health crisis and a political and economic story.
"The awareness amongst New Zealanders of the exclusive, in-depth and investigative journalism our team delivers along with the smart commentary and analysis available on Premium grows by the day, as does our number of subscribers."
NZME chief executive Michael Boggs thanked New Zealanders for their ongoing support throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
"Kiwis have trusted us and have been reading our newspapers and magazines in huge numbers. They are engaging with us across our digital platforms, listening to our radio stations and accessing content via our new NZ Herald app in massive numbers too. Our advertisers have strived to stick with us, and we have stood by them," he said.
"The number of New Zealanders who have turned to us during these turbulent times has reinforced with all of us at New Zealand Media and Entertainment the incredible responsibility that comes with our purpose of keeping Kiwis in the know."