The impact of your support in 2020

This has been an extraordinary year for Victoria. From the bushfires last summer to the health and economic crises caused by the coronavirus, 2020 has thrown up huge challenges and revealed the great resilience of our community.

This year has also underlined the importance of quality media in a sea of noise. At the same time, financial pressures on media organisations have been intense.

In one of the toughest years in memory, The Age has had one of our strongest years, even though our staff have worked almost continuously from home since March.

Our readers were interested in the bigger issues raised by the catastrophic bushfires, and we established a national and local team devoted to the environment and climate change. We maintained our foreign correspondents. We covered the remarkable US election with a distinct Australian perspective and we led coverage of the tensions in Australia’s relationship with China.

Victoria felt the brunt of coronavirus harder than any other state. Our live blog ran seven days a week for months and this was the place where readers came to find out the latest news, delve into the health and science issues, and share with each other the experience of a strict lockdown. We have begun in-depth reporting of how Melbourne and Victoria can recover and learn the lessons of the pandemic. In such a year of isolation, we at The Age have never felt so close to our community.

In challenging economic times, we chose not to cut staff because journalism is the crux of what we do. One of our duties is to hold the powerful to account. We kept digging on the hotel quarantine shortcomings and the tragedy of aged care, demanded transparency from political leaders and published a range of views on the coronavirus response.

Our mantra is independence. We will never be partisan, and we do not begin our reporting with an ideological end in mind. That is unusual as media organisations fragment, but it is our greatest strength because we have no set agendas. The Age has a proud history of investigative journalism and this year we continued our landmark reporting into alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers. We pursued our investigations into Crown Resorts and exposed the damage caused to our democracy by political branch stacking.

We can do none of this without subscriber support and I want to thank you. It has been heartening to see how strongly our readers have responded.

Subscriptions to The Age are up an extraordinary 25 per cent and we have reached a record combined readership for print and online, making The Age indisputably the dominant masthead in Victoria.

We are proud of that, but we don’t take it for granted. We are ambitious. We know that we need the trust and support of our readers to do more of the journalism you demand of us. But for now, after such a year, I wish you all a holiday season surrounded by those you love the most. Good riddance to 2020 and, like most Victorians, we can’t wait for 2021.

The Age’s 2020 Impact Report

Your support this year helped us deliver fearless but fair journalism, with significant results. We invite you to explore our inaugural Impact Report to revisit the work you helped make happen.

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