The Fetch Blog

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Interview: Kath Viner, Editor in Chief at Guardian Australia — July 19, 2013

Interview: Kath Viner, Editor in Chief at Guardian Australia

The Guardian logo

When I joined we were the seventh biggest newspaper in Britain; today we are the third biggest English language newspaper in the world.

It’s one of the  most renowned newspapers in the world with a loyal following and killer leadership in digital media. Now the publisher behind the recent Snowden-leaked NSA PRISM surveillance program, has launched the Guardian Australia. We got some questions in with Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief, to see how the new local edition is going…

Congrats on the launch. How do you feel the reception’s gone so far?

We’re thrilled by all of it: the traffic, the way our readers are engaging with us, the sorts of stories we’ve managed to deliver, and the warmth with which Guardian Australia has been received.

What can we expect from The Guardian Australia in the coming months? Will we see a localised version of Soulmates for instance?

We’re looking at all sorts of things; for example, we’ve already launched the Guardian Masterclasses for Australia, which have proved very popular.

The Guardian has a strong reputation for data journalism – what other key elements position the masthead uniquely in the Australian media marketplace?

We are digital-only, which means we are able to exploit everything that digital has to offer and we are able to find, tell and spread stories in all sorts of new ways; and we’re truly global, with a network of correspondents around the world plus large teams in the US and UK. Also our ownership structure is unique: we are owned by a trust, with any profits going back into the journalism, which means that our journalists are free to say anything. We’re truly independent.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in media since joining The Guardian in 1997?

Clearly, the rise of digital; and it has been fantastic to be at the forefront of that with the Guardian. When I joined we were the seventh biggest newspaper in Britain; today we are the third biggest English language newspaper in the world.

Have you ever felt your gender has impacted on your ability to progress in journalism and your wider career?

Not yet. Probably because I’ve spent most of my career at the Guardian, where there are many women in senior roles.

You also wrote the award-winning play My Name Is Rachel Corrie – will we see any further theatre forays in the future? 

I love theatre but the day job is pretty hectic these days…

Why Sydney as your base?

It’s where most of our readers are, but we have a national focus and a particular interest in Melbourne.

How do you take time out to unwind?

I think I know the concept but I can’t quite remember what it means… Theoretically: swimming, walking and reading

Can The Fetch readers expect any Guardian Australia related events?

Hope so.

About our contributors // Kat Loughrey is the curator of The Fetch Melbourne and Kate Kendall is the founder and CEO of The Fetch.  

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