The Guardian

Guardian Media Group logo (link)

Media Outlet


1821 as the Manchester Guardian


John Edward Taylor


United Kingdom

Chief Executive:

Anna Bateson

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Also see The Guardian Foundation, Inc. (nonprofit)

The Guardian is a newspaper based in the United Kingdom that traditionally supports left-wing causes and Britain’s Labour Party. It is a part of the Guardian Media Group, which also owns The Observer and Guardian Weekly.

The Guardian notable for its role in compromising American national security. In 2013, the paper released classified information given to it by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that allegedly detailed domestic surveillance operations by the spy agency.1 According to intelligence experts, the Snowden leaks have made it more difficult to track terrorists and may potentially put the lives of Americans and others at risk.2


The Guardian was founded in Manchester, England in 1821 as the Manchester Guardian by John Edward Taylor, a cotton merchant. The newspaper was founded by moderate reformers in the wake of the Peterloo Massacre, which was a cavalry charge into a crowd of demonstrators demanding representation in the British Parliament. The founders of the paper believed that demonstrations and direct action were not persuasive in getting the British government to make liberal reforms.3

The paper was careful to strike a moderate tone because at the time, the press was subject to censorship by the British government. The paper’s mission promised to “zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious liberty, warmly advocate the cause of reform, endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of political economy, and support, without reference to the party from which they emanate, all serviceable measures.”4

C.P. Scott became editor of the newspaper in 1872 and bought the newspaper from Taylor’s son in 1907. Under Scott, the paper’s editorial line became more radical. It opposed the Boer War in South Africa in 1899 in spite of British public opinion. The paper’s coverage of the war focused on the use of concentration camps by the British in that war.5 The paper also supported women’s suffrage. However, the paper opposed nearly all direct action taken by the suffragettes.6

Modern Controversies

In more recent times, the paper has tried to influence both British and American politics in a more radical direction. In October 2004, the newspaper published a column that appeared to call for the assassination of then-U.S. President George W. Bush. The paper was forced to remove the column after public outcry.7 The newspaper has also published op-eds from known Islamists. In 2005, it published an op-ed on alleged anti-Muslim discrimination by Dilpzaier Aslam, who had previously associated with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tarhir.89

The newspaper has also been criticized for its coverage of Israel. In 2011, the paper admitted “inadvertent” use of language that could be construed as anti-Semitic in its coverage of Israel and the U.S.’s relationship to that country.10

The paper revealed the Edward Snowden leaks of National Security Agency surveillance programs.11 It has also published some articles which have revealed other American intelligence programs. The paper disclosed the top secret collection of Verizon phone records by the U.S. government.12


The Guardian has a print edition that had a circulation of 154,000 as of April 2017. That is a decline from 341,000 in April 2005.13


  1. Greenwald, Glenn, Ewen MacAskill, and Laura Poitras. 2013. “Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind The NSA Surveillance Revelations”. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  2. Simcox, Robin. 2015. “Don’t Listen To Edward Snowden’s Supporters – His Leaks Have Been A Gift To Terrorists”. The Independent. Accessed November 16 2017.
  3. Wainwright, Martin. 2007. “Battle For The Memory Of Peterloo: Campaigners Demand Fitting Tribute”. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  4. “The Manchester Guardian, Born 5 May 1821: 190 Years – Work In Progress | Editorial”. 2011. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  5. “CP Scott & Boer War: Teaching Resource Of The Month From The GNM Archive, January 2012”. 2012. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  6. “June Purvis: The Unladylike Behaviour Of The Suffragettes”. 2007. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  7. “Left-Wing UK Paper Pulls Bush Assassination Column — 10/25/2004”. 2017. Web.Archive.Org. Accessed November 16 2017.
  8. Aslam, Dilpazier. 2005. “Dilpazier Aslam: Today’s Muslims Aren’t Prepared To Ignore Injustice”. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  9. Staff. “The Guardian Settles out of Court with Aslam.” Campaign UK, June 5, 2006.
  10. “U.K.’s Guardian Owns Up To Inadvertent Cases Of Anti-Semitism”. Haaretz.Com. November 10, 2011. Accessed November 16 2017.
  11. Greenwald, Glenn, Ewen MacAskill, and Laura Poitras. 2013. “Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind The NSA Surveillance Revelations”. The Guardian. Accessed November 16 2017.
  12. “Obama Administration Defends Massive Phone Record Collection”. Reuters. June 5, 2013. Accessed November 16 2017.
  13. Christopher Williams. 2017. “Guardian To Go Tabloid As It Abandons Berliner Presses In Print Deal With Trinity Mirror”. The Telegraph. Accessed November 16 2017.
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