How Open Journalism Saves Publishing in the Digital Age

The decline of many major international print outlets – due to their difficulties in adapting to the ways information is shared and consumed online today – is not news, but continues having dramatic effects on the traditional regional and global media landscapes. Particularly evident during the recent economic crisis, this negative development forced many metropolitan dailies to sell out or shut down. The Guardian with its open journalism model has managed to reinvent itself. As editor of the latter since 1995, Alan Rusbridger – a former reporter – oversaw the paper’s complete print and digital redesign. Today The Guardian reaches peaks of 100 million visitors per month and is regularly voted the best newspaper website in the world. A pioneer in turning a newspaper into a publishing platform between journalistic and non-journalistic content, Rusbridger has often found himself at the centre of battles over press freedom. During the most recent episode, British security agents forced Rusbridger to destroy hard drives which contained secret material from the Snowden leaks – a bizarre and anachronistic act, since obviously other copies had been distributed among journalists. In Berlin, Rusbridger speaks about the importance of robust journalistic institutions, the marriage of old media and new technologies – and why the digital age is proving a hard but exciting one to adapt to.

Alan Rusbridger became editor of The Guardian in 1995. He first joined the paper in 1979 as a general assignment reporter, feature writer and columnist.
He briefly moved to the sister paper, the Observer, followed by a stint as Washington correspondent for the London Daily News. He returned to The Guardian as a feature writer in 1987. He helped to launch the earliest version of what would become the online news website During his editorship the paper has fought a number of high-profile battles over libel and press freedom. The paper was nominated newspaper of the year five times between 1996 and 2006. Rusbridger has been named editor of the year three times.

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