Guardian newspaper editor to step down

10th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

The editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper, who led its expansion from a traditional British broadsheet to a digital-first international operation, said Wednesday that he would step down next year.

Alan Rusbridger will leave the role in the middle of 2015 after 20 years.

The 60-year-old is set to become chairman of the Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian Media Group, but his successor has not yet been named.

In a note to staff, he said that his time since starting as editor had been "quite an extraordinary period in the life of the Guardian."

"In February 1995 newspaper websites were, if they existed at all, exotic things," he wrote. "We've grown to overtake all others to become the most-read serious English language digital newspaper in the world."

The Guardian describes itself as "the world's leading liberal voice" and launched a US digital edition in 2011, followed by one in Australia last year.

It shared a Pulitzer Prize with the Washington Post this year for its reporting on leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

This prompted heavy criticism from some British lawmakers and a debate over whether publishing the leaks had created a security risk.

Rusbridger was summoned to give evidence before a British parliamentary committee where he was asked if he "loved this country" and defended his newspaper's coverage.

Last year, he published a book detailing a year he spent learning piano music by Chopin.

Liz Forgan, the current chair of the Scott Trust, described him as "the outstanding editor of his generation".

"Fully embracing the opportunities of the digital age, he has built on the best traditions of his distinguished predecessors, transforming the Guardian from a print-only national newspaper into the world's leading quality newspaper website," she added.

© 2014 AFP

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