Stuff’s unfolding news coverage of the Delta outbreak has delivered two remarkable days for the site with the average daily audience surging to 2.11 million unique browsers*. The spike follows Tuesday’s announcement that the Covid-19 Delta variant had reached the community. It shows Kiwis’ appetite for trustworthy, accurate, timely news in these extraordinary times is right up there with the demand for toilet paper and flour.

Stuff’s unique daily browsers increased by two-thirds across the two days – an extra 820,000 visitors. This included an additional 270,000 people accessing Stuff via their desktops and a further 526,000 than usual visiting the site on their mobile devices.

Traffic reports show peaks at 9am and again 1pm, coinciding with the daily Covid-19 press conference, which was streamed live on Stuff. Top stories were all Covid-related.

Stuff Editor in Chief Patrick Crewdson reflected on the increase in his latest column for The Backstory, which offers behind-the-scenes insights from the newsroom. “We know when crisis calls, Kiwis turn to Stuff en masse. Our busiest days ever were the Kaikōura earthquake, the Christchurch mosque terror attacks, and last year’s level 4 lockdown announcement.”

“Perhaps it’s an obvious observation that people rely on the news media in emergencies. But in an era when misinformation marauds across social platforms, it’s worth contemplating that the qualities that make the news media so valuable in crisis conditions are actually present all the time,” says Crewdson.

“Our job is to answer the questions of what, when, where, who, why, and how. We deliver the news accurately and quickly, then we help you understand the latest developments with analysis, context, and explanation. We try to anticipate our audience’s needs, and to reflect our country’s diversity. We follow professional standards and our own code of ethics. And if we don’t get it right the first time, we correct our errors.”

*Stuff domestic average daily users (unique browsers) – Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 August 2021.