Monday, January 24

‘Stuff of legends’: Editors around the world salute The Guardian for its 200 years | Media

Leading newspaper publishers and publishers around the world have paid tribute to The Guardian, saluting its independence, influence and investigative bravery in celebration of its 200th anniversary.

Editors from Hong Kong to Denmark and from the United States to Brazil noted that The Guardian had remained true to its roots as a liberal voice advocating for reform.

“When you’ve been a media institution for about 200 years, that means you have something lastingly valuable to offer the public,” said Marty Baron, former editor of the Washington Post, who retired in February. “The Guardian surely does. His spirit of vigorous, independent and public-spirited journalism is a source of admiration and inspiration. “

Surviving and thriving for 200 years was “an extraordinary achievement,” said Fran Unsworth, director of BBC News. “The Guardian’s story is a rich tapestry of investigative journalism, holding power to account and putting its readers at the forefront of everything they do.”

Javier Moreno, editor of El País, expressed his admiration that “a newspaper founded in Manchester in the 19th century has become one of the most influential global voices,” adding that many of its journalists were “the stuff of legends.”

The Manchester Guardian published its first edition on May 5, 1821 in response to a massacre in the city of protesters calling for political reform that became known as Peterloo. Since then it has published more than 54,000 editions, several million newspaper articles, changed laws, caused resignations and won thousands of awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and, most recently, an Oscar.

Christian Broughton, managing director of the Independent, said that sometimes it takes a tragedy to start a movement. “The Peterloo massacre was one of those incidents,” he said. “While there are difficult truths to report, we will need journalists to do their job and readers to recognize its value.”

Wolfgang Krach, editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich, said the Guardian was a “model of journalistic integrity” that had successfully clung to its nonconformist spirit. “By giving voice to liberal and democratic values, he has demonstrated how to report the news of the world … represents the best that the Fleet Street tradition has to offer.”

The Guardian’s independence of mind was widely recognized among leading journalism editors. John Witherow of the Times in London said CP Scott, who edited The Guardian for 57 years, “would have no difficulty recognizing that, as it celebrates its bicentennial, its newspaper still has a soul of its own. Let it continue for a long time. “

Irish Times editor Paul O’Neill said that in this independence “of mind and from commercial or political masters”, The Guardian and its newspaper were “soul mates”.

Alison Phillips, editor of the Daily Mirror, noted that the two publications were often on the same side of the argument in campaigning and highlighting injustices, even if the Guardian used “more words and much longer sentences.” She added: “The importance of reliable, quality journalism that refuses to shy away from issues that the rich and powerful would rather not discuss can never be underestimated.”

But as Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, pointed out, The Guardian has not bargained with its story. “What [the Guardian] Achieving is turning out to be a huge piece of investigative work ready to tackle the most ambitious topics: big government, big technology, the surveillance state. He forced us all to improve our game and he made us all better. “

The header of the first edition of the Manchester Guardian on May 5, 1821.
The header of the first edition of the Manchester Guardian on May 5, 1821. Photograph: David McCoy / The Guardian

Channel 4 head of programs Ian Katz, a former deputy editor at The Guardian, celebrated the publication’s continued ability to cause problems, from exposing super-rich tax evaders to the Windrush scandal. “The measure of true independence for a newspaper is the reach and power of the enemies it creates,” he said. “The Guardian has amassed a formidable, and formidably eclectic, collection of them for 200 years.”

Other editors credited The Guardian with providing inspiration and resisting the recent slide into fake news, churnalism and conspiracy theory.

“We were inspired by his principles of holding the powerful accountable and being the voice of the voiceless,” said Tom Grundy, editor of the Hong Kong Free Press, adding that the crowdfunding medium he launched in 2015 would not exist without The Guardian. “Somehow, this 200-year-old newspaper manages to constantly reinvent itself while maintaining its identity and expanding its readership.”

Others praised recent groundbreaking efforts to build a global support base to underpin The Guardian’s financial model. “It has found a financing system compatible with its editorial DNA,” said Juan Luis Sánchez, co-founder of “He has changed the business to fulfill the mission, he has not sacrificed the mission to fulfill the business.”

Sérgio Dávila, editor of Folha de S Paulo, added: “It is refreshing to see that a quality exit from The Guardian turns 200 years old at a time when professional journalism is under attack, in Brazil and around the world, and when scientific facts are treated as opinion and factual truth as fake news by a part of society that is growing dangerously in size. “

Christian Jensen, Politiken editor in Denmark, said The Guardian was at the forefront of the fight against social injustice and the climate crisis. “This [newspaper] it is where much of the world finds inspiration when we talk about democracies that could end up dying in obscurity as democratic thinking comes under pressure and privacy erodes. “

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