The Info List - Katharine Viner

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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 _The Guardian_

* 4.1 Appointment * 4.2 Later developments

* 5 Other work * 6 References * 7 External links


Raised in 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 , 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 . 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 _, 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 .


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.



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 the BBC's _ 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 York. 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 emails of 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 2004 * ^ Companies House * ^ _A_ _B_ "The World\'s 100 Most Powerful Women #80 Katharine Viner", _Forbes_, * ^ _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 March 2015 * ^ "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, reprinted in 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 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 " Katharine Viner appointed Guardian editor", _Financial Times_, 20 March 2015 * ^ Michael Wolff "Snowden effect hits \'Guardian\'", _USA Today_, 20 March 2015 * ^ Peter Wilby "Labour in a trap, Cameron’s decade debacle, democracy at the Guardian and Leicester’s losers", _New Statesman_, 8 April 2015 * ^ Rigby, Elizabeth (20 April 2016). "Guardian staff furious as Rusbridger set to return". _The Times_. London. Retrieved 20 April 2016. * ^ Ponsford, Dominic (13 May 2016). " Alan Rusbridger falls on his sword rather than chair Scott Trust Ltd opposed by editor and chief executive". _Press Gazette_. Retrieved 13 May 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ Katharine Viner "\'Let me fight my monsters\'", _The Guardian_, 8 April 2005 * ^ Peter Beaumont "Rachel Corrie\'s family loses wrongful death appeal in Israel\'s supreme court", _The Guardian_, 13 February 2015 * ^ Viner, Katharine (14 January 2016). "Alan Rickman: the most loyal, playful and generous of friends". _The Guardian_. Retrieved 14 January 2016. * ^ Katharine Viner "Read \'em and weep", _The Guardian_, 9 June 2004 * ^ John Harrington " The Guardian names Katharine Viner as first female editor-in-chief", _PR Week_, 20 March 2015