NSA

The Guardian Wants to Be "the international liberal journalistic outlet"

British newspaper at center of reporting on American civil liberties scandal

|

press theoretically freer here
The Guardian

The Guardian is at the center of the NSA surveillance controversy, breaking the stories of the NSA's massive operations last week, courtesy of leaks from Edward Snowden. The British daily newspaper has been making inroads in the U.S. market since first opening an office in 2011, as USA Today reports:

"By setting up an office in the U.S. and doing the same in Australia recently it's quite clear what the ambition is," said Roy Greenslade, a professor of journalism at London's City University, who also regularly writes about the media for the Guardian. "It wants to become the international liberal journalistic outlet."

Greenslade said that the Guardian has an explicit mandate to ensure that it publishes as a "liberal organ" and that every editor of the Guardian — there have been four since World War II — has had an "avowedly liberal voice." It is written into the contract, he said. He said that the Guardian is one of the few newspapers to allow its staff to select its editor in chief, for example.

In Greenslade's view, the Snowden revelations ought to put the Guardian in line to be the first British newspaper to win a Pulitzer Prize. "No one likes to be beaten in their own backyard, and that is exactly what the Guardian has done," he said.

Perhaps feeling the heat, everyone's favorite "liberal rag" The New York Times released an editorial last week declaring President Obama had "now lost all credibility." The paper's discovery of a backbone was not long lived. That editorial was quietly edited within just a few hours to temper the criticism of a president whose government collects phone and Internet use data on millions and millions of Americans, because in 2013 liberalism seems to mean supporting the president. Will Americans increasingly have to look to reporting from overseas (and Reason, subscribe now!) for revelations about the civil liberties violations their government commits at home?