The Null Device

The Graun goes stateside

Having claimed the lion's share of the US non-jingoistic media market with its web edition, the Guardian is planning to establish a US edition. This will be a weekly magazine (perhaps like the Guardian Weekly sold here in Australia), with 60% of the content from the Guardian proper and the rest written by US contributors.
First, it's important to understand the anomalous nature of the Guardian itself. There may not be anything else quite like it in commercial publishing anywhere. The Guardian is the fruit of a legal trust whose sole purpose is the perpetuation of the Guardian. In other words, the trust&emdash;the Scott Trust, created in 1936 by the Manchester family that controlled the paper&emdash;eliminates the exact thing that has most bedeviled media companies: the demands of impatient shareholders and the ambitions of would-be mogul CEOs.

I wonder whether there is any reason that such a thing started and kept going in Britain and not America. Is there some difference between the British and American cultural and/or media environments that would have made something like the Guardian less likely to get going, or to survive, in the US, or is the Guardian's British origin more or less an accident of history? (via FmH)

There are 2 comments on "The Graun goes stateside":

Posted by: Benjamin http://www.carnagevisors.net Fri Jul 18 08:52:57 2003

Interesting, I wonder how it will go in the USA. The guardian is one of those papers I quite like, I liked its comics when I was little :). All in all a good manchester paper.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sat Jul 19 13:17:46 2003

Except that it has been based in London since the 1960s or so (in Farringdon Rd., opposite the Betsey Trotwood, in fact).

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