Student readership of The Guardian has plunged by almost 20 per cent, according to estimates from the latest National Readership Survey (NRS).
Over the same period The Daily Telegraph has seen its readership climb seven per cent.
The NRS estimates are for April to September 2004, measured against the same period in 2003. The NRS estimates that the Telegraph now has 101,000 student readers and The Guardian 91,000. The Times has also seen its student readership drop ten per cent to 133,000.
Although, the NRS student sample does cover anyone who lists “student” as an occupation it only includes people living at home or in privately owned accommodation – not students in “halls”.
Dave King, new executive director at the Telegraph Group, says: “The strong growth in young readers and students is partly due to the editorial improvements introduced by editor Martin Newland, such as the popular Film on Friday section and our music coverage.”
A spokeswoman for The Guardian says: “In context, this is a fairly minimal decline. With the publication of Rise and The Guide, Saturday is our key day for attracting students and student readership on this day has grown by 5,000. Eleven per cent of our readership on this day is students.”
The Guardian introduced Guardian Student, a free weekly digest tabloid version of The Guardian, last year; more than 75,000 copies are distributed on campus.