KATHARINE SOPHIE VINER (born January 1971 ) is a British journalist
and playwright. She became the first female editor-in-chief at The
Guardian on 1 June 2015 succeeding
Alan Rusbridger . Viner
previously headed The Guardian's web operations in Australia and the
US, before being selected for the editor-in-chief's position.
* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Career beginnings
* 3 Australia and New York
* 4 Editor-in-chief of
* 4.1 Appointment
* 4.2 Later developments
* 5 Other work
* 6 References
* 7 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Yorkshire , Viner is the daughter of teachers. Her
grandfather, Vic Viner, was an able seaman involved in the Dunkirk
evacuation . Viner was educated at
Ripon Grammar School
Ripon Grammar School , where she
was head girl. Her first newspaper article, published in The Guardian
in 1987 while she was still at school, was on the ending of the GCE O
level examinations, which were being replaced in the UK by the General
Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). "Cramming five years of
knowledge into two and a half hours does not seem to be a fair
system," she wrote. Around 1988, Viner had a period of work
experience at the Ripon Gazette, her local newspaper.
Subsequently Viner read English at
Pembroke College, Oxford
Pembroke College, Oxford . Just
before her finals, Viner won a competition organised by The Guardian's
women's page and was advised by Louise Chunn, then Guardian women's
editor, to pursue a career in journalism. "I honestly thought
journalism wasn't for me, I thought it was for men in suits in
London", she remembered in 2005. During her 20s, Viner spent most of
her holidays in the Middle East, a region in which she has a
particular interest, spending time in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, the West
Bank and other locations.
For work experience, Viner joined Cosmopolitan , a women's monthly
magazine. The magazine retained her afterwards and she became features
assistant, then news and careers editor. After three years at The
Sunday Times , working as a commissioning editor and writer for the
magazine, Viner joined
The Guardian in 1997. Following a period on
the staff of the women's page, she became editor of the Saturday
Weekend supplement in 1998. She became features editor in 2006 and
deputy editor in 2008 at the same time as
Ian Katz . Viner edited the
Saturday edition of
The Guardian from 2008 to 2012.
Laura Slattery in
The Irish Times
The Irish Times , reviewing Viner's career up to
March 2015, noted that she "has almost always been the person who does
the commissioning, provided the byline". Several Guardian pieces by
Viner published during this period are reprinted in an anthology drawn
from the Guardian archive entitled Women of the Revolution: Forty
Years of Feminism (2010), edited by
Kira Cochrane .
AUSTRALIA AND NEW YORK
In January 2013, Viner's relocation to Sydney to supervise a new
Guardian digital edition in Australia was announced; this venture was
launched in May 2013.
Viner delivered the AN Smith Lecture in Journalism at the University
of Melbourne in October 2013.
D. D. Guttenplan , London
correspondent of the American Nation magazine, wrote in March 2015
that "there is no one on either side of the ocean who has thought as
deeply as Viner about the relationship between readers, technology and
the future of journalism." Guttenplan is not totally convinced by
Viner's "eagerness to transcend print" in the move to digital media,
but commenting about her 2013 speech in Australia, he writes that "her
arguments for the importance of reader engagement, and for sustained,
original reporting of information that someone, somewhere, wants to
keep secret are compelling and convincing."
In the summer of 2014, Viner moved to New York City and became the
new head of The Guardian's American website in succession to Janine
Gibson while remaining deputy editor of Guardian News ">'s coverage
from a limited range of subjects, into areas like the arts and sport
and increased staffing.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE GUARDIAN
In March 2015, Viner won a majority in the ballot of Guardian and
Observer editorial staff as the favoured successor of Alan Rusbridger
as The Guardian's editor-in-chief. Viner received 53% of first-choice
votes from the 964 staff who participated, and was thus shortlisted
for selection. Former deputy editor and rival,
Ian Katz (editor of
Newsnight television programme since 2013), was also on the
final short list of two.
Viner was appointed editor-in-chief on 20 March 2015, the first woman
to be the editor of
The Guardian in its 194-year history, and assumed
her new post on 1 June 2015. She intends to make the "media
organisation" a "home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and
events" which is able to reach "out to readers all around the world."
It has been suggested by former Guardian columnist Michael Wolff that
another of Viner's rivals to succeed Rusbridger,
Janine Gibson ,
suffered because of internal disquiet over the internal impact on The
Guardian of the
Edward Snowden revelations which Gibson edited in New
Peter Wilby , writing in the
New Statesman , preferred a
different explanation: "Viner is a more charming, more inclusive and
less threatening figure than Janine Gibson, who started as the
bookies’ and Rusbridger’s favourite."
In March 2016, Viner and Guardian News and Media chief executive
David Pemsel announced cost-cutting measures, leading to the projected
loss of 250 jobs, to reduce unsustainable losses in order to break
even within three years. The following month,
The Times reported
internal tensions within the organisation as Rusbridger prepared to
become Chairman of the Scott Trust , the ultimate overseer to ensure
The Guardian survives "in perpetuity". Rusbridger's expansion of the
company's operations was reportedly seen by staff as responsible for
the decisions which Viner and Pemsel have made. Viner and David
Pemsel successfully opposed Rusbridger becoming Chair of the Scott
Trust Ltd and he dropped plans to take up the post.
Outside journalism Viner is known for
My Name Is Rachel Corrie , a
play she co-edited with actor
Alan Rickman from the writings and
Rachel Corrie , an American activist who was killed by a
bulldozer operated by the Israeli Army in Rafah, Gaza in 2003. The
play was first performed at the
Royal Court Theatre in 2005. After
Rickman died of cancer in January 2016, Viner wrote that their
collaboration had been initially difficult, but "on the opening night
we each admitted that we couldn’t have done justice to Rachel’s
words without the other".
Viner was a judge in the
Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004 and was on
the board of the
Royal Court Theatre for 13 years.
* ^ A B
Katharine Viner "Dear diary ...", The Guardian, 27 November
* ^ Companies House
* ^ A B "The World\'s 100 Most Powerful Women #80 Katharine Viner",
* ^ A B C "Guardian appoints
Katharine Viner as editor-in-chief",
The Guardian, 20 March 2015
* ^ "
Katharine Viner Profile page", The Guardian
* ^ Davies, Caroline (2 October 2016). "Vic Viner obituary". The
Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
* ^ "Vic Viner".
The Times . 31 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October
2016. (subscription required)
* ^ "General Information: A short history of Ripon Grammar School",
Ripon Grammar School
* ^ A B C "Former Ripon Grammar head girl appointed first female
editor-in-chief of the Guardian", Ripon Grammar School
* ^ A B Dominic Ponsford "New Guardian editor Katharine Viner\'s
challenge: What to do with 964 staff and £850m", Press Gazette, 24
* ^ "Top editor gives inspirational talk at Grammar School speech
day", Ripon Gazette, 9 November 2005
* ^ David Prior "Former Ripon Gazette work experience girl is new
editor of The Guardian", Ripon Gazette, 23 March 2015
* ^ A B C D Tomlin, Julie (5 May 2005). "It\'s good to feel scared
from time to time". Press Gazette.
* ^ Dominic Ponsford "Guardian aims big guns at web", Press
Gazette, 3 February 2006
* ^ Laura Oliver "Guardian News & Media names Paul Johnson as
deputy editor", Journalism.co.uk, 6 August 2008
* ^ Laura Slattery "
Katharine Viner to balance news and \'fun\' at
the Guardian", Irish Times,
* ^ This includes an article by Viner reflecting on Misconceptions,
a book by feminist author
Naomi Wolf concerning Wolf's first
experience of childbirth, and other aspects of her career, See
Katharine Viner "Stitched up", The Guardian, 1 September 2001,
Kira Cochrane (ed.) Women of the Revolution: Forty Years
of Feminism, London: Guardian Books, 2010 , p.165ff
* ^ Mark Sweney "Guardian News & Media to launch digital Australia
edition", guardian.co.uk, 15 January 2013
* ^ A B "Guardian News & Media announces senior editorial changes",
theguardian.com (press release), 6 March 2014
Katharine Viner "The rise of the reader: journalism in the age
of the open web", The Guardian, 9 October 2013. The article includes a
link to the
University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne video of Viner's speech.
* ^ "A.N.Smith Lecture in Journalism 2013", University of Melbourne
* ^ A B D.D. Guttenplan "The Changing of \'The Guardian\'", The
Nation, 23 March 2015
* ^ Ravi Somaiya "Guardian to Make Management Changes", New York
Times, 6 March 2014
* ^ Perlberg, Steven (21 June 2017). "How
The Guardian Lost
America". Buzz Feed. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
* ^ "
Katharine Viner wins staff ballot for Guardian editor",
theguardian.com, 5 March 2015
* ^ Peter Preston "Enter
Katharine Viner at the Guardian: new
editor, old hand", The Observer, 22 March 2015
* ^ Adam Sherwin "
Katharine Viner appointed editor-in-chief of the
Guardian", The Independent, 20 March 2015
* ^ Stephen Castle and Ravi Somaiya "Guardian Names Katharine Viner
as New Editor", New York Times, 20 March 2015
* ^ Henry Mance "