Record audiences help attract new funding for Guardian Australia

• The platform’s audience grew to a record 11.6 million readers in March

Philanthropic trading company VivCourt has donated $200,000 to Guardian Australia, via the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust, to help maintain the publisher’s independent journalism during the coronavirus crisis, the publisher announced earlier this month.

The platform’s audience grew to a record 11.6 million readers in March, making it the fourth most popular news site in the country.

Despite this growth, Guardian Australia’s advertising revenue has declined as the domestic economy starts to feel the financial impacts of the pandemic.

In response, the Guardian Australia has launched the Coronavirus Crisis Project, a request for philanthropists to help protect its investment in journalism through this time. All funding will go to The Guardian Civic Journalism Trust, which is run in partnership with the University of Melbourne and gives students at the Centre for Advancing Journalism an opportunity to work with industry and receive invaluable professional development. The Guardian Civic Trust already runs successful philanthropic projects with The Balnaves Foundation, The Susan Mckinnon Foundation, The Limb Family Foundation and others. These projects have had a substantial impact on Australia, sparking senate inquiries and changes in government policy.

The first donation to the project has come from VivCourt, who had previously supported Guardian Australia’s series, Fair Go?. Rob Keldoulis, CEO of VivCourt, says that he sees Guardian Australia as a vital service.

“We should all be passionate supporters of the Guardian in a time when information has never been more vital,” says Keldoulis.

“We are relying on our governments to tell us the truth. I believe that we’re all capable of dealing with even very dire situations if we fully understand what’s happening.

“What shakes us is being misled and not knowing the full story. Honest and open reporting has never been more critical and I would urge supporters to stand alongside us to support the Guardian and their brand of independent journalism.”

Guardian Australia managing director Dan Stinton (pictured) said: “We are tremendously thankful to the Vivcourt team for their support of our journalism. Almost half of Australia is reading our coverage of this crisis – this funding is a substantial help in maintaining the essential reporting that our growing audience relies on.”

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