The Guardian launched GuardianAmerica.com today, “a new site designed to meet the needs of the Guardian’s growing US audience,” according to the announcement.
Here are the main points of the release:
Uh, that’s it? We’re probably being pessimistic today (the same way we were when Time’s “The Page” launched) but…what makes this stick out? What makes it special?
Editor Michael Tomasky tries to explain:
I am sometimes asked what, or who, this means we will try to be “like”; the questioner wants an American reference point the better to slot this project into a known category. The only answer is that we will try to be like … the Guardian.
Which means what? Well, the paper was founded in 1821 “to promote the liberal interest” in the aftermath of the Peterloo massacre. Now, I confess that I don’t know what that was. But it sounds bad, and I’ve been around the block enough times to know that journals founded in response to events like massacres tend to be pretty reliable, from my point of view, more or less across the board.
So Guardian America will, yes, promote the liberal interest. Not with a sledgehammer; one of the most important liberal interests, after all, is in free inquiry, debate, scepticism, even about one’s own positions. But I suspect that, among the Americans who like the Guardian, one of the things they like is that the paper expresses its view of the world a bit more openly than American newspapers do.
This will mean looking at the events of the day from a slightly different angle than US papers, and focusing in on some matters that they might ignore, as I have in my interview with Hillary Clinton. It will not mean, of course, that our standards of accuracy and fairness and fealty to fact will be anything but the highest. “Facts are sacred,” said CP Scott, the man whose family placed the Guardian in trust 71 years ago the better to insulate it from the vicissitudes of the marketplace. That they are – and that does not change across either decades or oceans.