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20 March 2015

Kath Viner is the first woman to become editor of the Guardian

The editor-in-chief of Guardian US has been appointed editor of the paper.

By New Statesman

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian US, has been appointed editor of the Guardian.

Viner, who won the staff ballot at the beginning of this month, will be the first woman to take up the post. She replaces Alan Rusbridger, who announced last December that he would be stepping down after 20 years this summer.

Viner succeeded Janine Gibson – another contender – as the paper’s US editor last summer, having established the publication’s successful Australian operation. She joined the Guardian in 1997, and soon became editor of the Saturday Weekend supplement, before taking over the features desk in 2006. 

She was appointed deputy editor in 2008, alongside Ian Katz, the current Newsnight editor, who was her closest competitor in the running for editor. He and Viner were on the final two-person shortlist.

Her manifesto for the Guardian editorship encourages the paper “to take some risks”, and states: “Breaking stories is our primary mission.” She also emphasises the need to appeal to younger people:

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We urgently need to reach young readers, who are already into platforms we’ve never even heard of. We’ll find them where they are, not where we want them to be.

Tellingly, she insists that print must not hold back the digital operation “while we choose to keep it”:

Print must not hinder our shift to digital, but we must cherish it while we choose to keep it, with an experienced team of journalists taking care of it.

Read her full candidate’s statement here.