Guardian eyes US in bid to become global liberal voice

It may appear ironic that a media group with liberal values is making cold, hard marketing decisions with its very liberalness. But the Guardian Media Group, whose publications are frequently critical in their coverage of the US administration, is doing just that as it attempts to position itself in the US through its website.

“The core purpose remains to ensure the Guardian’s financial and editorial independence. It is about protecting the Guardian in perpetuity. And perpetuity is a long time,” Ms McCall said in her understated office on the opposite side of the City’s Farringdon Road from where the Guardian’s journalists are housed.”We are having to protect it from whatever might happen over 20, 30, 50, 100 years’ time. We are doing it for whoever is going to be doing these jobs then.”And, in the internet age, Ms McCall then qualifies her statement: “It is not the Guardian as a newspaper, but Guardian journalism that we are here for.””As I say, it is 24/7 global news and comment – and the comment is the great differentiator. The New York Times and the BBC are our competition, or Google News. That is what will shape the way we work. The competition is not newspapers in the UK,” she says.”Even the New York Times is constrained on certain issues,” she says, referring principally to President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 – “in a way that we would not be.”On the internet, she believed Guardian Unlimited could challenge the BBC worldwide and provide something more because it did not have a requirement to be impartial.Guardian Unlimited already has 6m unique users in the US, she notes, and, although “liberal” is not a word many American companies would use in their marketing, she says that the idea of being a liberal voice there too is understood by consumers.

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