LONDON — The editor-in-chief of Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Alan Rusbridger, will step down next summer, after two decades in the post, The Guardian Media Group said late Wednesday.
“In global journalism, there are a handful of roles that have the capability to redefine our industry,” Rusbridger said. “I am privileged to have held one of those roles for 20 years, a period in which successful newspapers have become global content providers, reaching audiences in dramatically new and valuable ways.”
In a letter to staff that was published on the newspaper’s site, Rusbridger talked about the sea changes the media has witnessed during his tenure.
“In February I’ll have been editor for 20 years. It’s been quite an extraordinary period in the life of the Guardian. In February 1995 newspaper websites were, if they existed at all, exotic things: we were still four years off launching Guardian Unlimited. Since 1999 we’ve grown to overtake all others to become the most-read serious English language digital newspaper in the world.
“When I assumed the editorship in 1995, the senior team at the Guardian was debating whether we should switch to using color photography in the paper. (There were quite a few distinguished voices believing black and white was the proper métier for news.) Today we are doing our journalism in words, (color!) pictures, video, data, animation, audio; on mobile and other platforms and in social…and every possible combination of the above.”
Rusbridger will succeed Liz Forgan as chair of the Scott Trust when she reaches the end of her term in 2016. The trust was set up in 1936 and is the sole shareholder in Guardian Media Group. Its core purpose, according to the group, is to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity.