World Editors Forum welcomes first female Editor-in-Chief at The Guardian

In a world where women are still dramatically under-represented behind editors’ desks, the appointment of Katharine Viner as The Guardian’s first female Editor-in-Chief has women journalists across the globe fist-pumping in the direction of the glass ceiling. Julie Posetti reports.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | March 23, 2015

When she takes over from Alan Rusbridger mid-year, Viner will become The Guardian’s 12th editor, and the first woman at the helm since the paper was established in 1821. She will also be the only female editor of a daily ‘quality’ newspaper in the UK.

At the World Editors Forum we look forward to the day when appointing a woman as Editor-in-Chief is not headline-worthy. But until that day comes, we will celebrate the appointment of Katharine Viner, and others like her, as noteworthy steps towards gender transformation in our newsrooms.

A brilliant appointment

Rusbridger announced Viner’s appointment on Twitter, describing her as “brilliant”


alan rusbridger


Delighted the brilliant Kath Viner to be 12th Editor of the Guardian in 194 yrs.Only instruction: “Carry on as heretofore”

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The New York Times‘ Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan echoed the sentiments of many senior women journalists struggling to make their way to the top after a year that cost two ground-breaking women editors their jobs in New York and Paris


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Viner appeared moved by the avalanche of support the announcement generated online.


She told The Guardian she felt privileged to take on the responsibility of Editor-in-Chief and honoured to follow in Rusbridger’s footsteps:

“Building on his track record, I intend to lead a media organisation that is bold, challenging, open and engaging. It will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events, setting the agenda and reaching out to readers all around the world.”

Currently Editor-in-Chief of Guardian US, Viner “took Australia by storm”, to quote Rusbridger, as Editor-in-Chief of Guardian Australia when the brand entered that market in 2013, quickly turning it into the major Australian media agenda setter it is today.

When Viner delivered a major keynote address at Melbourne University in late 2013, she made clear her commitment to the philosophy of ‘open journalism‘.

For further insight into Viner’s Editorial leadership style, read her pitch to colleagues for the top job at The Guardian in the lead up to an internal ballot on the Editor-in-Chief position last month.

Picture credit: The Guardian 

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