“Window on a Wider World”: Guardian’s US Edition Launches

Logo of the British newspaper The Guardian

Image via Wikipedia

The US version of the UK’s Guardian has arrived.

In their explanation for why they are attempting to crack the insular American market, they mention the popularity of their Middle East and other international coverage with US audiences.

Why might they succeed?

My research with Douglas Bicket suggests: “Cultural familiarity” for US readers along with “shared vales of Anglo-American journalism.”  Different but not too different.  British news overall is more aggressive and cheekier (and some claim sloppier) than American.  They thrive on reporting from around the world.  They talk back to politicians.  They’re not afraid of Rupert Murdoch.

Where might they have trouble?

Consider The Guardian’s attempt to insert itself into the US Presidential election in 2004 when it launched a letter writing campaign in a county in Ohio. They  asked their global audience to contact residents in Clark County (the Guardian would supply addresses of registered voters)  and explain to them how their vote affected people all over the world due to US foreign policy.  While newspaper “campaigns” are common in Britain, this one at least didn’t take with American audiences.

A huge backlash ensued.  Their site was hacked and the American media (don’t like competition do we?) piled on.

Good luck to the Guardian.  You may need it.


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