Katharine Viner has been named as the editor of The Guardian newspaper.
It means she will become the only female editor of a major UK national newspaper when she takes up her new role in the summer.
Viner replaces Alan Rusbridger, who announced he was stepping down from the role in December, having been at the helm since 1995.
Viner is currently editor in chief of The Guardian US and has been at the newspaper since she was 26-years-old in 1997. In 2013 she launched Guardian Australia as its editor in chief.
Viner won 53% of the votes in an internal Guardian editorial staff ballot held earlier this month on which current staff member should become the next editor. It meant she was guaranteed a place on the shortlist going forward to the next round of interviews held by The Guardian owner The Scott Trust.
The other frontrunner for the top role was Ian Katz, editor of the BBC current affairs TV program Newsnight. Prior to joining Newsnight in 2013, he was deputy editor of The Guardian and spent more than 20 years there.
The Guardian’s parent company, Guardian Media Group, reported a 3% lift in group revenues to £215 million in the year to March 29 2015, according to an unaudited trading update published earlier this month. The company told Campaign Magazine it expects its pre-tax losses will remain broadly flat at around £30 million.
Here is Katharine Viner’s editor candidacy statement, given to The Guardian’s National Union of Journalists Chapel, outlining the approach she plans to take in editing the paper.
The Guardian has successfully navigated the first phase of the digital revolution: we have huge scale, a keen sense of what makes the Guardian different, and are trusted at a time when trust is at a premium. We have the ownership model everyone wants, a global reputation and excellent journalists bringing in scoop after scoop. But we face big challenges. To ensure the survival of Guardian journalism in perpetuity we need a clear, flexible plan — with humility about an unknown future. And we need to take some risks, using a route map which allows us to change course and re-invent ourselves.
1. Report, report, report
Breaking stories is our primary mission. We build on a tradition of accuracy and fairness; giving readers the information they need to understand the world; holding power to account; defending liberties; exposing injustice. We must embrace new digital ways to find, verify, tell and deliver stories so that they are relevant to our readers, and protect our sources and reporters.
2. Relentlessly cover the stories that matter
We must be comprehensive in our coverage and take ownership of the big themes of the day, from the generational wealth gap to Isis, from the Euro crisis to the secrecy of modern warfare, from the revolutions in gender identity to the under-reported side of Silicon Valley.
3. Be instinctively digital
Journalism and technology have merged. To produce and deliver journalism that is relevant today, we need a close relationship between editorial, product and engineers, developing stories together, working out what to do about mobile, loyalty, data; plus a super-charged approach to helping readers find our journalism.
4. Go after the young
We urgently need to reach young readers, who are already into platforms we’ve never even heard of. We’ll find them where they are, not where we want them to be.
5. Be home to the big debates
The comment section of the Guardian is a crucial venue for the major debates of our time. To remain distinctive we must give prominence to those who struggle to be heard as well as those whose profession is crafting an argument. It works best when it embraces a wide range of perspectives, including those which challenge the Guardian worldview.
6. Be loved, not just admired
Readers admire us for news, but they love us for quality features, sport, arts, fashion, food, travel, videos, podcasts, magazines and supplements. We have a reputation for playful intelligence, from G2 to the Fiver; a witty voice and distinctive tone. But we can do more, with a focus on warmth and fun.
7. Look beautiful, make sense
Pictures and design matter. Quality production matters, too. Guardian readers are excited by well-edited stories, strong video, well-chosen photographs, clear navigation, visually enthralling storytelling. They are reassured by accuracy.
8. Cherish print, but don’t let it hold us back
We need to develop clear strategies for the Monday-Friday paper, Saturday Guardian, and the Observer. Our decisions about print’s future should be based on well-communicated, non-ideological criteria and a structured plan. Print must not hinder our shift to digital, but we must cherish it while we choose to keep it, with an experienced team of journalists taking care of it.
9. Be truly global
While the Guardian has a large international readership, and rapidly-expanding editions in the US and Australia, it is not yet truly global. We need to reframe everything we do to speak to a worldwide audience. We need more reporters abroad, particularly where there is little media diversity or free reporting, with bureaus in crucial countries such as India and Nigeria. Most of the defining issues of our time are transnational: economics, climate, surveillance, inequality, technology, war — even sex scandals. Themed roles would help us tell a coherent international story: correspondents for water, fossil fuels, women’s rights, a 1% correspondent.
10. Bring readers closer
New techniques mean readers can share expertise, help us find stories and make decisions. We host big communities and engaging conversations, whether below the line, with our professional audiences such as teachers, or between Guardian members at live events — we should build on these relationships and invite readers into our journalism at an early stage.
11. Work with commercial
The Guardian is bucking the trend in digital revenues. Our journalism will never be for sale and editorial independence must be fiercely protected. But mobile, where making money is difficult, is advancing fast: we must tackle the coming challenges with both integrity and determination.
12. Build a fulfilled, diverse team
We should hire ace journalists from varied backgrounds. Our journalists need to be placed in roles that match their talents, knowledge and personalities; they should be developed with the best digital training. They need regular communication about their own professional development and reporting structures that are simple and clear. All ideas must be welcome. News is a stressful business which needs to be balanced with an energising sense of inclusiveness, purpose and fun. I have a proven track record, in London, Sydney and New York, of inspiring teams to work hard, produce brilliant journalism, and have a fantastic time doing so.
13. Everything matters
We have a powerful identity, an honourable history, a base of integrity and resilience. The Guardian stands for something: in CP Scott’s words, for the values of ‘honesty, cleanness [integrity], courage, fairness, a sense of duty to the reader and the community’. It really matters. I am committed to developing the Guardian as the pre-eminent progressive and liberal voice. In reporting, this can be expressed through the context and subjects we choose to focus on; in comment, it’s about encouraging a broad range of perspectives, anchored in the Guardian’s traditions; in editorials, the Guardian’s view must never be taken lightly, and always be underpinned by the context of its history. Most of all, we should focus everything on why we are determined to sustain the Guardian: to report, inform, debate, entertain and reflect our values on a global scale.
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