The Guardian

Media format : Printed Press, Internet

Frequency : Daily

Geographical distribution area : National

Geographical area : United Kingdom

Website :

Media language : English

Country : United Kingdom

City : London

Address : Guardian News & Media Limited, PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP

Created : 1821

Owner : Guardian Media Group

Status : Public Company

Chair of Guardian Media Group : Neil Berkett

CEO : Andrew Miller

Editor-in-Chief : Alan Rusbridger

Mediator/Readers’ editor : Chris Elliott

Some figures…

Capital holding : Guardian Media Group plc

The Guardian is financially independent, and is associated with the Manchester Evening News whose profits keep it financially stable.

Turnover of Guardian Media Group : £210,2 million (March 2014)

Circulation : around 196 425 copies (source ABC, 2013/2014)

Publication : Daily, every weekday

Production units : London, Manchester

Background :

John Edward Taylor founded the Manchester Guardian and Evening News Limited in 1821. Published weekly at first, it became a daily newspaper in 1855.

It developed and built up its reputation under the direction of Charles Prestwich Scott from 1872 onwards.

In 1936 John Russel Scott, the son of C P Scott created a share trust which became the owner of the Manchester Guardian. This foundation has since enabled the financial and political independence of the newspaper and nowadays of the Guardian Media Group.

The Scott Trust does not draw dividends and all profits are reinvested in the group.

In 1979 The Guardian benefited from the crisis affecting The Times which stopped it from being published for 11 months.

In1990 The Guardian created a European edition in 16 European countries and in Israel.

In 1993 The Guardian bought The Observer.

Since 1995 The Guardian has produced an on-line edition with pages devoted to technology. In 2001 it was the most consulted site in England.

The Guardian is a left-leaning newspaper, close to the Labour Party but retaining a critical spirit regardless of who the government is. Its independence and the quality of its content are widely recognised outside the United Kingdom.

The Guardian is also a reference because of its positioning on the internet and its experiments in the field of data journalism.

Since 2013 the GMG has published The Guardian, The Observer,, in the USA and now, in Australia,

Print version

Complete answers

1.1. – Internal Code or charter? : Yes

The professional standards code was drawn up 10 years ago and was updated in August 2011 by the current editorial director.

1.2. – How is their application monitored? : The editors-in-chief

All journalists receive a copy of the professional standards code.

Editorial management has to check it is applied.

2.1. – Journalist associations inside the media? : No, but…

There is no internal Association of Journalists but in Britain the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is represented within the editorial organisation by a ‘chapel’ directed by the Mother or Father of the Chapel (M/FoC). The chapel Mother or Father monitor journalistic practices and news quality.

2.2. – What mechanisms are there to evaluate already published material? : A review meeting

The Editor-in-Chief has a review meeting every morning with the fifteen senior editorial managers.

At 10 a.m. all journalists can attend the editorial meeting run by the editor-in-chief.

2.3. – Which systems are in place to identify and correct errors? Fact checking? : None

Fact-checking is not part of British culture. The mediator will write a correction if necessary.

3.1. – What is the relationship between editorial values and advertising content? : This is also the responsibility of the editorial department

The Editor-in-Chief is also responsible for advertising content. If the Editor-in-Chief does not agree with an advertisement, they can ask for it to be removed from the newspaper.

3.2. – What arbitration systems are in place for disputes? : Information not provided

3.3. – What is the structure for sponsorships and editorial partnerships? : Information not provided

4.1. – How are press trips and embedded journalists managed? : Accepted and made public

In 2010 The Guardian reinforced the rules for press trips. They must be declared in the article.

The newspaper will reimburse the occasional costs of a press trip organised by the government.

Embedded reporting has long been accepted and is always made public.

4.2. – How are conflicts of interests with the owner resolved? : Transparency

If The Guardian writes about a company owned by the Guardian Media Group, this will be mentioned in the article.

The same principle applies to anybody who works, or who has worked, for the group.

4.3. – How are political and economic pressures managed? : By the hierarchy

Journalists who are subject to particularly insistent pressure will raise the issue with the editorial management team or the Editor-in-chief.

4.4. – How is general news or “news in brief” treated? : Carefully

The Guardian is interested in stories with meaning and treats them sensitively, so, for example, the newspaper will avoid details on the method of a suicide.

It is also aware of not misusing psychiatric terms to describe a criminal.

Journalists do not harass families of victims and do not emphasise the emotions of these families.

It does not interview young people below the age of 16 without the authorisation of the parents.

4.5. – What criteria are there for the publication of photos/ transmission of filmed images? : No voyeurism

The newspaper endeavours to respect individuals and avoids voyeurism but images that help to communicate an important story will be published.

The Guardian will show photos of a person in handcuffs.

The newspaper authorises the type of retouching that can be done in a classic dark room. The light in a picture can be reworked but a person cannot be added to it.

4.6. – How are amateur photos or videos treated? : These are seldom paid for

The Guardian uses a lot of these. Amateur material is seldom paid for.

4.7. – What is the status of permanent or freelance journalist blogs? : It is treated the same as all other journalism

The Guardian considers blogs as a new and different form of journalism which must respect the rules in place for all group titles – no insults, transparency on how the information was obtained and particular attention to the hypertext links included.

The newspaper also feels that information in blogs must be checked with particular care.

4.8. – What are the conditions for working undercover? : With authorisation

If a journalist feels information cannot be obtained in another way, they must make a special request to their commissioning editor. This will be indicated in the article.

5.1. – What form of mediation is there with the public? Is there an ombudsman? : Yes, there is a system for receiving complaints

When a mediator receives a complaint from a reader, the mediator investigates, provides an explanation and then publishes a corrective article or apologises in the name of the newspaper.

Unlike the Editor-in-chief, the mediator has no disciplinary role but can still attend editorial meetings to highlight any professional standards that may have been breached.

The mediator has a column in the newspaper every Monday and a page on the website.

5.2. – Is there a section for public comments? : Yes

An editor with a team of journalists is in charge of readers’ letters which take up three quarters of a page.

5.3. – How is the ‘right of reply’ managed? : No policy as such

The Guardian does not publish a right of reply as such. However, people who would like to express a reaction to an article can do so in the Response column published four days a week.

5.4. – How are public visits organised? : Not possible for the general public

Visits are reserved for students of journalism or foreign journalists.

5.5. – Are there organised meetings with the public? : Information not provided

5.6. – Are journalist contact details made public? : Yes

Journalists’ e-mail addresses are available on the website and below articles in the Comments section of the newspaper’s paper edition.

5.7. – How are internet forums managed? : Post-moderation

Editorial staff work both for the print edition and the website and there are non-journalist Community Managers for all subjects.

For certain sensitive subjects, comments are deleted or moderated before. The rest are post-moderated.

6.1. – Moving towards green printing? : Double certification

80% of the newspaper was printed on recycled paper in 2013.

The Guardian favours paper produced in Norway, using hydroelectric energy, which produces little CO2.

Those printing techniques have obtained two certifications: the ISO 4001 standard and the Carbon Trust Standard which is particularly concerned with the consumption of water, electricity and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions.

6.2. – How sustainable are the infrastructure and logistics? : The building is energy-efficient

The newspaper building scored particularly well on energy consumption according to the Bream norm.

There is a high recycling rate (packaging, glass, batteries, etc.)

The premises are equipped with systems to measure energy consumption for lighting, heating, computer equipment.

The Guardian is working on a research project with the University of Bristol IT department to understand better the ecological impact of current web usage, e.g ‘Can the development of a new video platform that allows faster access to content reduce the global energy impact of the process?’

6.3. – Are suppliers selected according to sustainable criteria? : In process

For food as for other things The Guardian favours local suppliers.

6.4. – Is there sustainable management of film materials? : Non pertinent

7.1. – What initiatives are there for developing media literacy? : A specialised centre

Every morning, the Guardian’s Centre for Media education runs workshops for pupils aged 9-18, supervised by teachers. The pupils can produce the headline article for a newspaper or make videos.

7.2. – Is support provided for media in emerging countries? : A significant commitment

8.1. – What commitments are there for continuous training? : Accompanying the digital revolution

Lunchtime training was given to all staffers in the Group for two years with a view to providing new knowledge and skills. Some of the themes covered were: searching for information, data journalism, ‘conversation journalism’ (involving information supplied by readers) and managing communities.

8.2. – Is there pay transparency?  : No

8.3. – Is there an apprenticeship tax? : Information not provided

9.1. – How is corporate social responsibility applied? : A team exists for this

The Guardian offers bursaries to post-doctoral students based on diversity criteria.

A team of four or five people operates transversally across all Group departments.