Fringe Box



New Records for Guildford Dragon Readership

Published on: 1 May, 2019
Updated on: 4 May, 2019

In April, for the first time, The Guildford Dragon News had over 100,000 page views despite technical problems affecting readership on five of the days and the month having only 30 days. The views came from 23,000 unique users.

Editor Martin Giles said: “The readership trend is generally upwards which is encouraging. Of course, April should have been a busy month with the Local Plan debate coming to a climax in parallel with the local election.

Martin Giles, publisher/editor of The Guildford Dragon NEWS

“Partnership with the BBC under the local democracy reporting scheme and its Surrey reporter Rebecca Curley, has definitely helped expand our coverage, especially at county council level, while our increasing use of video, we hope, give residents a better, more personal view of our local councillors discussing the issues and challenges we face. It is just one way of trying to create interest in local politics which are too often given insufficient attention.

“But although local politics is a major component of our news we offer much more. Hugh Coakley is, I think, unparalleled in his reporting of the local retail sector, important to all of us individually, as well as to the town’s economy and general well being. And we are still doing regular theatre reviews, nature columns, local history articles and community stories.

Readership figures December 2018 to April 2019 when there were nearly 110,000 page views.

“Of course, there is a lot of news worthy stories that do not get reported but our resources are slim and The Dragon represents a lot of voluntary effort from team members who share a belief that it is important to provide, truly independent, Guildford-focused news.

“There is appreciation at government level of the parlous state of local journalism and the Cairncross review has put forward some interesting recommendations. I will be taking part in discussions on these with our regulator Impress, the BBC, and the Independent Community News Network, of which we are a member. Our local MP, Anne Milton, has also agreed to meet with me to understand better our point of view and hear suggestions and ideas that she can share with parliamentary colleagues.

“We remain true to our motto adopted seven years ago in 2012: Guildford news… for Guildford people, brought to you by Guildford reporters – Guildford’s own news service.

“With the bigger local papers facing increasing resource challenges, they are often less and less able to report in detail on local issues,  The Dragon will continue to do what it does best, focus on Guildford.”

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