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Guardian records first operating profit since 1998 (bbc.co.uk)
460 points by laurex 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 314 comments

> However, the operating profit excludes cash payments of between £25-30m for capital costs and other business expenditures, which are an annual draw-down from the Scott Trust, of which The Guardian is part. If these annual costs were included, The Guardian would still be loss-making

At first, I misinterpreted this to mean they're counting money granted by a wealthy donor as profit. And without that, they would still be losing money. But, as clarified in the comments below, the Guardian is actually paying the Scott Trust. Also the Scott Trust owns The Guardian. Forgive my confusion. This isn't a straightforward relationship.

> Nevertheless, the operating profit marks the completion of a three-year plan that few observers thought likely to succeed, and which leant heavily on a - for British media at least - eccentric business decision to ask readers to contribute financially for something they could get for free.

So the business model is asking users for a donation? This sounds more like a non-profit to me.

I guess this is better than bleeding millions/year but we can hardly call this a good business.

Accounting 101, capital items do not count towards profit.

> So the business model is asking users for a donation? This sounds more like a non-profit to me.

It is a non-profit! https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Trust_Limited

It's not. Good article from former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook:

HSBC and the sham of Guardian's Scott Trust


The following is quoted in the piece:

> The Guardian is not owned by a trust at all. In 2008, “the trust was replaced with a limited company” that was accordingly re-named “The Scott Trust Limited.” Though not a trust at all, but simply a profit-making company, it is still referred to frequently as ‘The Scott Trust,’ promulgating the widely-held but mistaken belief in the Guardian’s inherently benign ownership structure. … The problem, of course, is that the Guardian functions under the same sort of corporate structure as any other major media company.

Very many charities are incorporated as limited companies. It's simply a convenient structure. They are incorporated by guarantee meaning they don't have shares.

Except, they're not and never have been.

According to companies house, they're limited by shares (1000 of which have been issued, with a nominal value of 250,000).

Have a look at any of their confirmation statements or incorporation: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06706464/filing-h...

> Accounting 101, capital items do not count towards profit.

Technically yes and no. The initial capital amount does not, but its amount gets depreciated/amortized over time.

Since you want to be technical, we should say that the changes to the value of capital items get charged to the income statement (profit & loss). Capital items only get depreciated if they are wasting, and could indeed be revalued upwards. It is quite common for real property, for instance) to not get depreciated and be held at historical cost, or indeed to be revalued annually.

oh for a one armed accountant...

> So the business model is asking users for a donation?

With people's ever growing concerns about malware, ransomware, privacy invasions and the invasive nature of ads, people are turning to Ad-Blockers so this makes sense. I started using an Ad-Blocker a long time ago and I've always struggled with it because I know it's robbing sites of revenue, and at the same time I felt violated by all the ads I saw whenever I turned it off.

Back in 2017 when the Guardian started showing those big yellow banners at the bottom of articles, I started contributing. If I'm on a site more than a few times a year and they have an option to contribute, I try to.

I really think there's some space for innovation here. I like contributing to journalism and I don't want to setup annual subscriptions for 20 different sites, but I can't easily keep track of which sites I frequent or when I last contributed.

> Back in 2017 when the Guardian started showing those big yellow banners at the bottom of articles, I started contributing. If I'm on a site more than a few times a year and they have an option to contribute, I try to.

Same here. I recommend it, it feels good.

Also it makes sure I'm not a hypocrite when I speak up against the current advertising and tracking madness.

There is Blendle, but I hate paying per article — it places a restrictive barrier on freely browsing articles. Blendle also misses a lot of quality newspapers (like the Dutch NRC).

I love the original idea of Blendle, low price articles, no payment if you leave within a few seconds.

Haven't used it recently since they hadn't too many of the articles I wanted && I have a sneaking suspicion that refunds aren't as easy anymore.

I tried it and didn't like the model. Paying per article is just crazy, it makes you feel like you have to watch what you're spending all the time. I'd rather a fixed amount that leads me read as much or as little as I choose

Is it somehow worse than browsing a bookshelf in a bookstore or the magazines in a kiosk?

No it's not worse. I think the author you replied to was stating that it's nicer to pay a flat fee and get unlimited viewing (itunes, google play, spotify, netflix, etc). Can we have that for journalism?

Apple News?

I'm genuinely intrigued by the promises of that service, but I'm not willing to pay $1000+ for hardware to access it.

Well, if you go iPad, $400 but point taken.

I don't understand the point you're making. If I was to read the same number of articles in blendle in a month, that I read for my fiver subscription, it would cost a lot more. The model doesn't work for me.

I do use Blendle, but my spend has dropped from ~$5/mo when I first signed up to barely a dollar, if that. They really need to get a wider variety of editors to cover topics beyond what would be popular op-eds on the Huff Post.

I pay a fiver a month for a newspaper subscription. That feels about the right level to me. It's a lot less than I used to pay for physical newspapers but I tend to gauge the value of things in terms of what Spotify and Netflix cost these days.

I use Netflix when I know I want ti convince myself not to pay, and food & wine to convince myself _to_ pay.

The monthly cost of most things that may be of great utility is astonishingly low when you think of what tonight's meal (and I mean ingredients, not eating out) will cost, IMO.

https://inkl.com has a flat monthly plan, besides a pay-per-article.

I really wish that when I read a really good article, I could click a button and give £1 or something.

You can do exactly that on the Guardian's site!

That's true, I ought to use that less rarely.

I would use that too, but only if low friction.

If I've done it before on The Guardian's site and let it remember my card number, fine, otherwise.. I'm not going through the whole rigamarole for an amount as low as I'd be willing to donate.

I suppose that's what Patreon et al. try to address. Nowhere near the critical mass for it not to be high overhead on average though.

There is Brave (browser) that can contribute to a site by proportion to amount of time you spent on all the sites. You can buy BAT (token) then distribute to the site owner or even authors (e.g. video uploader of youtube, instead of the youtube itself).

Do they really, though? I recall there was quite some controversy about that: https://twitter.com/tomscott/status/1076160882873380870

The Guardian specifically does participate in the Brave program.

Last I tried Brave it still felt very Beta-esque. Has it improved in the last year?

It's my daily driver for past 6 months and didn't try it before that, and I haven't had a beta impression at all.

> So they're counting money granted by a wealthy donor as profit. And without that, they would still be losing money.

I actually read that as "we are part of a trust that gives 25-30m, and if we didn't need to give these payments we'd be making a profit".

Or simply put: No, they are not counting recieving money, they're actually excluding giving money.

I think they are actually receiving the funds.

It is worded quite ambiguously, but I think what it actually means is that they receive GBP25-30 million a year from the Scott Trust, which they use for expenses and capital costs.

The article on the same topic in the Guardian itself a couple of day ago states:

"Guardian News & Media is owned by the wider Guardian Media Group, which in turn is controlled by the not-for-profit Scott Trust, named after the newspaper’s former proprietors.

The Scott Trust endowment, built up through the sale of former assets such as AutoTrader, produces an annual return of between £25m and £30m without depleting the main investment, which it allows to be spent by Guardian Media Group to subsidise ongoing operations."


Putting the money in an endowment is shockingly foresighted. I almost feel like good journalism needs that type of support going forward, and it seems the Guardian gave it to themselves. (The alternative would be inviting in people like Bezos, but that has the potential of strings attached.)

Thank you for this correction. I amended my original comment.

Good on you for being willing to say you made an error publicly.

(This isn't meant to mean anything sarcastic, I believe that the humility and cognizance to be able to do something as simply as to say 'whoops my bad let me fix that' publicly is increasingly rare and wish to praise it whenever it happens as a brave and ethical behavior.)

So they're counting money granted by a wealthy donor as profit. And without that, they would still be losing money.

The Scott Trust isn't a wealthy donor. It's the trust that owns the Guardian and The Observer.

Thanks for pointing that out. I clarified that in my edit above.

> So the business model is asking users for a donation ?

Well, in some articles the donation box is bigger than the article itself, so it's apparently an important part of their business model

To be fair, it’s also below the article, and neither a pop up nor interstitial. At that place in the page, it’s rather unimportant how big it is.

It is far less annoying than, say, Wikipedia or even NPR. Everyone should be happy about these results, as it is vastly superior to both paywalls and the ad-infestation other free sites have seen.

(I would also guess it’s rare for the box to actually take up more vertical space than the article. Maybe in breaking-news scenarios, where they start with a single-sentence item, then update it)

I agree that it's way less annoying that the wikipedia pop-up during the annual period where they ask for donations. (I can't tell for NPR since I go to their European version)

Alan Rusbridger’s excellent ‘Breaking News’ details the history of the Guardian, including the decisions that led to their current funding model. It’s fascinating, well written, and thoroughly recommended.


(Rusbridger was the Guardian’s editor for 20 years, before Viner.)

> I guess this is better than bleeding millions/year but we can hardly call this a good business.

Maybe real journalism just isn't profitable in a capitalist economy. This model works for organisations like NPR and Propublica.

Newspapers and magazines were profitable for centuries. Like many other industries, they've struggled to adapt to the new norms the Internet brought about.

Many newspapers, but by no means all. British national newspapers have, as a class, lost money for decades - plenty of people have been willing to subsidise the losses in return for the influence of owning one - so the economics were bad (and now getting worse).

Owning a monopoly city newspaper in the US, with a captive advertising market, was a lovely business until recently though.

Many of their competitors have been profitable for a while now. There's no incompatibility between capitalism and "real journalism", the problem with the guardian is in fact their complete disinterest in capitalism - hence being a literal trust fund baby.

> So the business model is asking users for a donation? This sounds more like a non-profit to me.

I think the idea is to get enough donations that they're no longer a non-profit.

The Scott Trust, The Guardian’s owner, will remain a non-profit.

The business model, sadly, is to be the Daily Mail of the left.

The number of news reports relative to op-eds continues to shrink, and the op-eds themselves have swung much harder to the left than before.

It's clearly working for them financially, but it's a different beast now altogether.

> The business model, sadly, is to be the Daily Mail of the left.

Bullshit. The Guardian is orders of magnitude a better newspaper than the Daily Mail.

What major stories have the Daily Mail broken in the last 10 years? The Daily Mail is not considered a reliable source on wikipedia, Comparing the Guardian to that is quite the insult

What major stories have the Guardian broken in the last two?

Obtain an issue from even five or six years ago when they were breaking the Citizenfour story and one from this past week.

Is it comparable to the Daily Mail? No. Is it moving in that direction? Demonstrably so.

Read an Owen Jones column or two and tell me it's still a bastion of reasoned perspective.

The Daily Mail is a rag. That the Guardian is trying to become one to get back in the black is tragic.

The Guardian did the Snowden papers, The phone hacking scandal and were also involved with the Panama papers as well for starters.

We'll respectfully disagree I guess.

The Panama papers was four years ago and (like Citizenfour/Snowden before it) leaked to the Guardian based on their historical reputation rather than anything recent.

I don't like saying anything against them as I really think they're the last decent paper left in this part of the world. It just seems like whoever is in charge these days has thought "if you can't beat em, join em".

Whilst there have always been loony left, misandrist etc. articles in the Guardian (I speak having read it regularly since the 80s) I'd argue that to make their supporter model work they've had to drop their editorial standards lower still.

> Whilst there have always been loony left, misandrist etc. articles in the Guardian

Speaking as someone on the left in the UK, I can assure you the Guardian has been more and more centrist as time goes on. I think the confusion is that they do in fact publish loony articles sometimes on social issues, because guess what? That's easy to do without really addressing any economic problems.

On the economic front they're as centrist as they get, regularly attacking the likes of Corbyn in ways that the Sun is starting to envy, smearing Assange once they're done profiting off him, printing puff pieces for the Saudi Crown Prince etc. The Guardian is no darling of the (grassroots) left, I can assure you.

I'm regular reader and I'm not sure that I would agree with you. My problem with the guardian is that it doesn't currently know what it wants be.

The other annoyance - the frivolous clickbait articles.

They have articles on privacy yet have lots of trackers themselves. They're really no better than what they preach, at least the last time I checked.

Still, having said that, I prefer to read a variety of news sources instead of one to hopefully get a more balanced view.

> They have articles on privacy yet have lots of trackers themselves. They're really no better than what they preach, at least the last time I checked.

Isn't that a side-effect of having business and editorial separated? The individual journalists don't have any power to change the templates their CMS uses.

It would be useful if they made it clear to their own readership that they do it, too. Instead it just plays up to a certain readership.

> I can assure you the Guardian has been more and more centrist as time goes on

I don't disagree! Put an article in front of me on most hot topics and I think I would have difficulty telling you what publication it was from - it's the same cynical, smug, faux-progressive yet in reality complacently bourgeois, finger wagging, 'if you don't agree with us you're wrong/old/racist/uncool' attitude from all of them.

I was looking at their Wikipedia page and I noticed they supported internment in Northern Ireland during the early phase of the Troubles - that's hardly challenging the establishment.


[Internment was probably one of the daftest ideas implemented by a UK government for a long long time.]

Edit: Note, I am a regular Guardian and Observer buyer - occasionally get the Times for a bit of balance (though still in mild shock over contents of the Telegraph my wife bought at the weekend as everything else was sold out!)

Monbiot still has a regular article there, he's as far left as it gets. Maybe a holdover from the past but the Guardian is still really keen on nationalisation, regulation, state control over everything, the EU etc. The modern left doesn't argue in terms of direct state control anymore, just indirect control through vast and vague regulations.

he's as far left as it gets.

I'm going to cut you some slack and assume you are American, young, or both.. because as a guardian reader from the 1970s onwards I can tell you this is just not correct

> Monbiot ... is as far left as it gets

Not at all. See The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian by former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook:


> George Monbiot, widely considered to be the Guardian’s most progressive columnist, has used his slot to attack a disparate group on the “left” who also happen to be harsh critics of the Guardian.

Media analysts Media Lens have written a lot on Monbiot too. http://medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/search-t...

I'm not sure that refutes anything. One of the hallmarks of far left views is the intense infighting between rival factions that seems to accompany them. Far left types attacking each other despite agreeing on nearly everything is not new.

He isn't traditional left wing. I assume he's a Green Party supporter, as most of his articles are on environmental issues. To prevent environmental damage, regulation of industry is often necessary.

Support for nationalization is nowadays limited to natural monopolies, and opinion polls show it's quite popular.

EU support isn't traditionally left wing either: historically, the left wing of the Labour Party (e.g. Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Peter Shore, Barbara Castle) all opposed membership. It was a Tory government which took us in, and Margaret Thatcher campaigned for our continued membership.

>Monbiot still has a regular article there, he's as far left as it gets.

Ah come on now.

>Monbiot still has a regular article there, he's as far left as it gets.

Monbiot is pretty much a social democrat. He may want to nationalise some infrastructure, but he is quite a long way away from being as far left as it gets.

>On the economic front they're as centrist as they get, regularly attacking the likes of Corbyn in ways that the Sun is starting to envy, smearing Assange once they're done profiting off him, printing puff pieces for the Saudi Crown Prince etc. The Guardian is no darling of the (grassroots) left, I can assure you.

That's the modern left: centrist (or, rather: "establishment corporatist consensus") on economic issues, centrist on societal issues, loony on SJW issues -- and pro-war/imperialism/against enemy-du-jour in establishment millitary-industrial issues.

quite a caricature they have become. It was still different when Occupy Wallstreet happened.

I agree with your characterization, but I'd call them 'corporate left'. There's still a grassroots left-wing movement in various countries that focuses on economics, the environment etc. it's just that they don't really have access to the sort of capital that would allow them to establish print/TV media in this day and age. For that you need corporate backing and corporations are not going to back such projects by definition.

Yeah, that's true. But they don't get any coverage, and are usually on the fringe of politics. And you have to go search for their media (e.g. things like Counterpunch, NLR, and so on), as opposed on having their messages shoved down your throat (like with the corporate left).

What's the difference between a societal issue and what you consider to be a SJW issue?

Well, as I see it, for the large majority of visible SJW types, their causes are LGBT rights, feminism, veganism, X-shaming, positive-X-image, and so on.

That is, (some token pro-black/immigrant activism aside, when it's comfortable) more or less non-problems, in an age where the respective groups never had it better and acceptance of them was never more in vogue and established (from Hollywood to major news outlets to laws).

Judging from 99% of their public output, most SJW could not care less for the vast numbers of homeless, the battered middle and working classes, for prison conditions. In fact the same "good souls" would go and openly mock "white trash" -- and they'd do the same for the "latino/black trash" if it wasn't frowned upon.

The difference between real societal issues and SJW causes, is that the former are cross cutting (across niches of people) and fundamental, while the latter are trendy and for the most part inconsequential today (when they don't get into the bizarro, e.g. the "cotton ceiling" thing).

Only a small brave minority fought for gay rights in the 60s and 70s, when gay was a dirty word. But now that it's in fashion, everybody fights the "token" gay fight, for ever more inconsequential rights. It's almost as if they're not pro-LGBT, they just take the winning side, and use it to prop their bios and popularity.

I would argue that they have been rather unique in the British press in keeping the standards of investigative journalism high. No other paper was looking into Cambridge Analytica and their role in Brexit, or the illegal collusion between Vote Leave and Be Leave. They have been fearless when other papers have been complicit

Fearless only when their fearlessness supports their viewpoint. They wouldn’t dare look into issues that go against their bias. According to the Guardian, Brexit is 100% bad, when in fact, the issues surrounding Brexit are in shades of grey. It’s not particularly courageous to write articles with which you already support. Courage would be writing articles that challenge their widely held assumptions.

While not the majority of their content, they have had a number of pro-brexit opinion pieces and pro-WAB articles from people across the 'left' brexit spectrum and even some centre/right writers.

Their editorial is pretty evenly split. A lot of readers who are remainer complain about pro brexit positions. The labour party is split. Owen Jones (as an example) and Martin Kettle) certainly don't make your case.

Basically, I think you're factually wrong. You're reading selectively if you believe this about the graun

I suppose you also think there was no behind-the-scenes orchestration behind the hounding of Aaron Banks etc., that the Remain campaign was whiter than white, and that the Electoral Commission have been completely impartial..

I said nothing of the sort. The collusion between Vote Leave and BeLeave is a matter of undisputed fact. They dropped their appeal recently. Your attempt to mix up fair reporting of a crime by putting words in my mouth is fallacious.

But since you mention Aron Banks, he is accused of funneling foreign money into UK elections illegally, and is being investigated for it by the NCA. Is that hounding?

You mean Mr Banks the one with the shady connections to Putin ?

Yeah I presume the “Redact the reference for Ural Properties and any references which include sensitive info eg. the account numbers that the money was sent from” one.

I disagree, too many people associate the opinion pieces with the general tone of the rest of the newspaper. All opinion pieces are effectively clickbait (go take a look at the Times or Telegraph (if you dare)). Their general position is generally centrist, they are pretty much LibDems as a newspaper.

I'd say they were (Blairite) New Labour which is slightly left than the Lib Dems. The newer Corbynite Labour supporters don't like the Guardian because the newspaper has negative coverage of their figurehead from time to time.

The thing with newspapers is that they keep posting opinion pieces using the same page design/layout as any other editorial or news piece with a small heading that says "Opinion", thus making it seem serious, and at the same time when they post opinion pieces that go way over the line they use the "but it was just an opinion piece" card. They want to have their cake and eat it as well.

I think that's a problem of media literacy and not page templating.

Sections and categories are not new features for newspapers or magazines. Words have meaning—they're not there for no reason.

I think a good solution would be to have opinion pieces in another subdomain such as blogs.mynewspaper.com/ephraimgoldstein with a very different design from the rest of the paper.

Maybe. I'm saying more that there really isn't a problem on the paper's end.

The problem, if there exists one at all, is the reader ignoring words on the page of a publication that is expressly about transmitting words.

That said, the Guardian already uses a completely different highlight colour for its Opinion section than it uses for its News section.

Like the way editorials in print newspapers are always left justified (ragged right), while news articles are fully justified[0]. It's subtle, but for anyone who's been reading newspapers regularly, it's immediately obvious.

[0] At least, that's the case here in Canada.

On the web site, the opinion pages (including capital-E Editorials) have a cream background, while everything else has a white background.

I'd counter, especially relative to other contemporary newspapers, the Guardian's quality is consistently high.

True, but you can name certain topics where the possibility of them being correct or to give a neutral perspective is quite low. Still better than most, yes.

Given their outright lies about Assange over the past while, I'd counter that assertion.

So I'm super uneducated on this, please let me know if you know because I'd love to know more.

1. What specific lies has the guardian spread, and what's the truth? 2. Are there news watchdog organizations for this major newspaper company selling actual proven falsities, and is there legal recourse? I'm not familiar if where the Guardian publishes there is a legal mandate to be a newspaper and not disseminate actual lies.

This is a misunderstanding of how UK print media works.

> Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.

Sources did say that, and the Guardian is telling us that these sources said that. The Guardian isn't saying it happened.

See also "Freddy Star ate my hamster (says beauty)". https://sunheadlines.blogspot.com/2008/11/classics-freddie-s...

Read the entire article: not a single confirmed fact related to the meetings, everything is proposed by sources. And that embassy had plenty of photographers and journalists around it, yet there isn't a single photo of Paul Manafort at the embassy. You'd think they could run with one of the many photos that would have been taken and offered to them for money.

Is the "misunderstanding" here that The Guardian or other UK papers can print claims from "sources" without verifying a single piece of materially important information?

You seem to be here to defend The Guardian in this long thread about what a great paper it is, but your defense is to make a comparison to The Sun and target it at people who are pointing out that The Guardian has printed obvious lies (actual "fake news") in meddling with US politics. That's a really interesting way to defend them. One would think such defense in a thread like this might be inspired by their honesty and integrity as a news organization, but it's actually that it's okay to lie by claiming sources said something because The Sun did it.

Well, they did have "sources say" in the title not the small print. There's some speculation here that "someone planted this story as a means to discredit the journalists" https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/28/paul-mana...

But that's the point. The guardian is only reporting what sources say, and they're clear about that.

You're holding the guardian to higher standards than any other UK print media.

A credible newspaper should do some fact checking before printing what 'sources say', otherwise its just PR for whatever wants to get this published.

Person A: The Guardian is great. Their "quality is consistently high."

Person B: The Guardian tells lies about relatively important stories like Assange and Manafort meeting.

Person C (you): Actually, all UK print media lies!

Is this a fair characterization of what just happened?


The Guardian has not lied. The Guardian has accurately reported what sources said. This is what all UK print media does. Guardian is somewhat better than some other UK print media because they'll (as they did here) include the words "sources say" in the headline or sub head, or they'll include quote marks in the headline.

Okay, this seems like a bad faith argument to me. You must be aware that print media in the UK, including The Guardian, also publish stories that are backed by real evidence (e.g. photos, videos, people openly stating, "I personally did/said that", etc.) rather than mysterious, unnamed sources.

Plus, it looks disingenuous to pretend that The Guardian didn't willfully choose to print this story instead of any of the many many stories about Barack Obama being a "secret Muslim" or even "gay" according to some source.

You can further clarify why you think The Guardian is actually good if you want, but if it involves, "Everyone else publishes stories from sources," I'm done taking it seriously.

They straight-up fabricated this story and have yet to retract. This wasn't an editorial either this was supposed to be 'real' news.

Hey, thanks a ton for this! Is anyone persecuting The Guardian for this?

I think Wikileaks wanted to sue them, not sure where that's at, but as far as some watchdog doing so, no, you never get prosecuted for printing what suits the establishment. I guess is similar to how the media pushing for the Iraq War on the premise of WMDs were held accountable, not.

The bad blood between Wikileaks/Assange and The Guardian go back quite a few years.



The fact that you have to link to an archive copy, because even the loony bin that is “counterpunch” has chosen to disassociate with the raving anti-Semite author, speaks volumes.

1. My post offers no opinion and makes no point other than that “there was bad blood a long time ago”, offering as evidence of that some articles by known Wikileaks supporters explaining the “why” from their perspective.

2. The fact that I linked to those articles (and my own comment preceding the links), makes no claims as to the veracity of those claims. However they do underscore the fact that there was bad blood between WL and TG.

3. Your post plays the man rather than the ball to attack claims I never made (clearly however others must feel the same way you do).

EDIT: correction to type of argument in point 3.

What lies for example?



I'd recommend you watch this[1] interview with the author of that article as well, for some context as to who he is.

1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ikf1uZli4g

> I'd argue that to make their supporter model work they've had to drop their editorial standards lower still.

I personally mostly stopped reading The Guardian because for all intents and purposes they have become an American journal. They are obsessed with American social issues and and mostly treat the news from an American point of view. I think it's a clear strategic choice of Viner but it saddens me to see what was a great English paper turn into that.

I won't even talk about the Opinion part of the journal. Describing it as uneven seems charitable.

This seems to be an extension of "people won't pay for local news now the classifieds have died", only that England itself is now too small for a profitable news constituency and the only money to be made is in telling Americans what terrible thing their government has done today.

The effect on Scottish press is even more acute; readerships are tiny.

What do you mean - don't recall see many devils advocate pieces on the pros and cons of second amendment rights

You articulate it better than I.

I think they're suffering from the same online short-attention-span clickbait issues as every other news source.

But, while they do put out a substantial volume of nonsense, the Guardian also does real journalism.

Meanwhile other publications have abandoned that, including the 'balanced' publications.

>Meanwhile other publications have abandoned that, including the 'balanced' publications.

Reuters still provides plenty of balanced journalism without dipping into fashionable nonsense opinion pieces.

I would say "excellent but infrequent," not "plenty."

Could not agree more. There has been both a large quality drop and a big political shift to the left (no idea how replies can claim they have become more and more centrist - that was true until a few years ago but it's swung back).

They lost me as a reader sometime in 2017. Thinking about it now, the change likely coincides with this business model.

not nearly as loony as daily express and daily mail

They've become less economically left-wing over the years, but that's somewhat obscured by their move toward Salon-like content from columnists.

They where set up as a free trade liberal paper.

Yes, in 1821. The political landscape has changed somewhat. The Guardian has never been The Morning Star, but it has moved from a more overtly socialist position over the last few decades (oddities like Owen Jones aside).

The problem simply shifts from pandering to advertisers to pandering to power users.


We've just had local elections where the resutl was a swing away from Brexit supporting parties towards Brexit opposing parties.

That's a somewhat tendentious analysis. The Tories certainly got a spanking, but UKIP stood in fewer areas than in the previous election and the Brexit Party didn't stand at all. I suspect we'll see a truer picture in the European elections.

Lib Dem and Green Party, that are Remain/People's vote Parties have made huge gains though

But then the Lib Dems took a beating last time these elections came to pass and whatever happened, they were going to get more seats on the rebound. Sure they gained more but even if you total all the Green and Lib Dem votes - it would still be less than 50% of the votes from these elections.

But the Green party have IMHO made huge gains factoring in everything and that is good as frankly IMHO - we have a lack of Green party representation. But to usurp all Green and LibDem voters as being solely interested in the remain camp would be disenfranchising of those voters.

After all - these are local election by local people for local issues - nothing to do with brexit beyond protesting vote people who failed to grasp that a local councilor and coulcil has less influence upon Brexit than they do as an individual who has had a say in the matter.

Protest votes irk me, as they highlight the democratic voting and say of the people is not robust enough that they are driven to such voting styles. There again I dispise tactical voting - a tactic that both the LibDem and to a lesser extent the Green party have partaken upon. Then the way the LIb Dems go about local election campaign leaflets - from what I have experience - pretty low and immoral tactics used when you get leaflets demonising and bully wording the other parties and neglecting to say what they actually offer.

But lets add some context here about the underhand election tactics being used from everybodies favorite source - https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/11/greens-face...

But in fairness to the Lib Dems - they have been pretty solid upon their brexit position (after the vote) - dispite being very adamant about respecting the vote no matter what the result....until they lost. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX1vhfdSKu4

Frankly - party politics needs to change - I'd love that all local councils were independent as party politics and councils offers no advantage, frankly the opposite.

all the analysis i've seen says that brexit is overshadowing local issues. i'm partial to sortition myself: if it's good enough for jury duty, it is good enough for government

That would work, though with what we have currently - I'd call it QWERTY politics, far from efficient and indeed about as inefficient as you can get and any other layout would be better. Exactly the situation with politics in the UK today and indeed, not just the UK that we see this playing out in some form or another.

Maybe one day soon we will move on from a democratic system designed for people who can just write an X and communicate every 5 years towards something more fit for our literate speed of light communications standards we have today.

Oh boy. The Brexit Party did not put up a single candidate in these elections and despite having only launched a few months ago they are leading the polls for the EU elections! I wouldn't count your chickens just yet guv.

Which are the Brexit supporting parties you are alluding to?

The Guardian editor-in-chief on breaking even against the odds: https://www.theguardian.com/global/2019/may/01/the-guardian-...

I've setup a yearly donation of €12. As someone outside of the UK, The Guardian has proven to be one of the few sources of reliable, in-depth reporting on the Brexit shambles (I do miss ColinCaserole though).

Ideally, I would be able to set up an all-you-can-eat subscription to a number of well-regarded international newspapers for languages that I am proficient in and access them at will from both a single portal (like Blendle, but absolutely not paying per article) and the newspapers own websites.

>'The Guardian has proven to be one of the few sources of reliable, in-depth reporting on the Brexit shambles.'

In many ways, The Guardian is a remarkable paper. It does not publish falsehoods, or - for the most part - appeal to the worst in people. It is committed to the defence of civil liberties, and to ensuring that journalism is open to everyone, regardless of their income.

But it's coverage of Brexit is highly partisan. It is not unreliable in the sense of being inaccurate; it is simply one side of the conversation.

I'm an avid reader of The Guardian and donate 50EUR a year.

Of course it's partisan on Brexit (as is The Economist, btw) and of course its general direction has a leftist slant (and why should it not?)

That said, I think it's one of the few remaining quality papers in the UK, which provides overall accurate reporting.

What makes me gag sometimes is some of the writers in The Opinion section. But that's fine too. If it's too crack-pottery I'm alsways free to ignore it.

Their Long Read section[1], though, is fantastic long form journalism and that alone justifies my yearly donation.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/the-long-read

EDIT : Slight clarification

While obviously it is much better than the likes of Daily Mail,it is still far far from being really good. A lot of articles are often opinionated and present journalist's opinion in a much stronger way than the facts themselves. Also,there are many poorly researched articles,where one feels that the journalist is clearly out of his/her depth..It's very similar ro Stacey Dooley,who covers amazing subjects, however the questions asked are like something you'd expect from 6th grade school journalism contest...

> What makes me gag sometimes is some of the writers in The Opinion section.

Absolutely. Opinion pieces in a newspaper are not meant to represent the view of the paper, or even to pretend to be objective; they are by definition opinionated and form an essential part of the public debate.

A lot of people don't seem to understand the concept of opinion pieces and letters from readers.

A good newspaper balances the opinion pieces placed, and will leave out obvious falsehoods.

The big issue with opinion sections is in the era of newspapers, it was obvious you're reading the opinion section. You might get a tease on page 1 to "Read Bill Clinton's views on Bernie Sanders' presidential chances on page 4" but it was clearly in the Opinion section, separated from 'real' news.

In the era of online news, opinion sections are blended with news.

Even The Guardian falls prey to this: go to https://www.theguardian.com/. Click the Opinion tab. Click any of the opinion pieces. The primary navigation reverts to having 'News' highlighted.

Worse, in reader/mobile view modes, the label "Opinion" does not show anywhere.

Fwiw, The Times doesn't do this, even in the app.

It's not a great app, but the one thing it gets right is behaving quite like a newspaper - even down to navigation to select which of the past 6 days' (plus today's) editions you'd like!

(What it gets really wrong, and refuses to accept is a bug every time I report it, is that when the edition updates at 9am/noon/5pm/midnight if you have an article open it randomly jumps to a completely different article that now occupies the spot on which you clicked to open the initial one.)

Are we seeing the same site?

I see that Opinion is still highlights in the tabs, it says "Opinion" in orange, and that's on mobile.

The background is pale pink, but that's more subtle.


> and of course its general direction has a leftist slant (and why should it not?)

Because when you go into every news story already convinced that the left are in the right in a given situation then your reporting is compromised.

No paper is strictly objective and it's not supposed to be.

I think that's completely fine as long as the direction is clear and the reporting is accurate.

On the other side of the spectrum we would have, for example, The Wall Street Journal.

While I personally believe that some of their opinion writers are even worse than some of The Guardian's opinion writers there's no doubt that The Journal delivers some stellar world class journalism.

Or would you apply a different standard there?

I think people can at least try not to bring their bias to work, or failing that actively declare that your reporting is designed to campaign for a particular politics. The Guardian doesn’t even attempt that.

They approach reporting like an angry anonymous Twitter account.

There is no such thing as impartial journalism. You have to select and interpret events. You cannot but do so from a particular perspective. The Guardian does a far better job than most newspapers at upholding accuracy in their writing. They don't lie to or manipulate their readers.

While there is some good writing and occasionally rigorous journalism on the Guardian, I won't accept the claim they don't manipulate their readers, I won't say they lie explicitly but they certainly remove context and omit when it is convenient to a certain editorial position. The timing and number of very tenuous anti-semitism claims against the Labour leader, for one.

How come for example the Times manages to include opinion pieces by views across the political spectrum and the Guardian doesn’t? The Guardian don’t even pretend to be trying.

'Trying' to do what? If you accept that a paper cannot be impartial, then what ought they be trying to do? It seems to me, from what you said, that you wish for them to be as plural as possible. Perhaps that's one virtue.

But there's nothing illegitimate about a paper having a particular political persuasion. Every paper does. What they should be judged by - holding politics equal - is the vocational standards of journalism: sobriety, rigour, accuracy, style, and a refusal to appeal to the worst in humans. I would say the Guardian does very well on all these counts. You say that it doesn't declare its politics, but it does: you only have to read their editorials. Not that it's a secret; everyone knows.

As for The Times, I can't speak with any authority. I don't read it, because it's behind a paywall. I know they're a centre-right paper who sometimes publish those on the centre-left. But my sense is that the former massively outnumber the latter, and that they rarely if ever publish social democrats and socialists.

The graph in this study fits, broadly, with my intuitions:


Are you talking about general opinion pieces or the Times regular columnists? The Guardian does have a pretty diverse Comment section [1]. As far as the regular columnists go, it's true they don't really have a right-wing Owen Jones, but for instance, Matthew d'Ancona is conservative, and Larry Eliott is a Lexiteer.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk/commentisfree

>How come for example the Times manages to include opinion pieces by views across the political spectrum and the Guardian doesn’t?

This is partisan in of itself

Now I'm curious: What paper do you read that doesn't have a bias? I'm in the US, but looking for different perspectives.

I think all journalism is biased, but there’s a difference between regretting it and trying to hold it back, and wallowing in it like the Guardian does.

For example the Times publishes pieces from the left and right viewpoints. The Guardian doesn’t even pretend to be interested in multiple views.

What? The Guardian's comment section has a huge range of opinions.

I'd suggest the Guardian has more of a neo liberal 'slant' rather than a 'left wing' one. They completely ignore that the Labour party has always been very sceptical about the EU for example and are all in on retaining the status quo around the current EU organization. There is no critical writing about it there. They also ignore the left of the Labour party. 'The Full Brexit' for example. https://www.thefullbrexit.com/about

It's funny you say that, because the same Chris Bickerton articulating the fringe view that true left wingers should get behind the leader of the Conservative Party's proposed Brexit deal at the other end of your link is also to be found expressing the same view in Guardian comment pieces...

The Guardian has many arguable faults, but not finding webspace for rather niche left wing schools of thought isn't one of them.

Its coverage of the Labour party is also very partisan, very anti-Corbyn.

I also wonder the free model, dependent on ads and donations are leading the Guardian to have more click-bait articles than would a subscription paper.

Also their football coverage looks as if written by Manchester United fanboys.

To be clear I'm not targeting you with the following comment.

> highly partisan

I don't know what anyone means by that anymore. I'll see people cite such things but and then they'll state "look at the front page now" and list articles. As if the front page has to have two or more opposite articles for every topic, or a paper must provide a ying to every yang (and possibly proportionately) like we can't handle it if we don't see our POV explicitly cited anymore...

This is really more of a side rant, for all I know I would entirely agree with your statement if I read the guardian more.

I'll give you a clear-cut example:

Whenever anyone calls on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to support a second referendum, they will publish it on the front page of their website. They are trying to amplify those voices which agree with their position - to reverse Brexit, or at least engineer a soft Brexit. They do not give those voices in and around the Labour Party which oppose a second referendum a hearing.

Would not the call for a referendum maybe be a bigger deal than the status quo?

Just for arguments sake here.

What's the status quo?

Surely it's not the Labour Party. They are in opposition. They oppose May's deal.

And if you hold The Guardian by that metric, they should be reporting the other extreme of the debate - advocates of 'no deal' in the 1922 committee.

In terms of opinion, the left is split between those who want to reverse Brexit, and those who don't. The former is the dominant position among metropolitan areas, the professions, the better-off, and in London in particular. In that sense The Guardian is reinforcing the dominant outlook of liberal opinion-makers; the one that already finds most voice in public debate.

> And if you hold The Guardian by that metric, they should be reporting the other extreme of the debate - advocates of 'no deal' in the 1922 committee.

But don't they do that already? I've seen JRM quotes in every brexit live feed on The Guardian.

I wish I read it enough to discuss it deeper, but I really don't.

I do often wonder if if folks describe the "right" way to cover things if that would be the least bit flexible / allow for anything they don't like beyond a % of coverage or whatever measurement they use.

It might be news, but then framing matters. Is it described the way a scandal is described? This is akin to losing an election and refusing to step down.

If Trump loses in 2020 and starts making claims that voters didn't understand the consequences of their vote and demands another election be held, do you think the headline would be as tepid as the ones describing calls for a new referendum? I'm not from the UK, and didn't support Brexit, but democracy is literally at stake here. If Brexit doesn't happen, at least in my opinion, the mirage of democracy in Britain is lost.

I imagine if Trump demanded another presidential election, the electorate at large would say "Sure thing - we'll hold one in four years."

Exactly, that's how preposterous this is. You'd implement the results of the 2020 election and then have another one at a later date (2024). Seems the reasonable thing to do is implement the results of the last referendum, then you can hold another if you'd like.

That's not partisan that's idealogical

Partisanship means supporting one party, you're describing ideology supporting a decision

On Brexit: it's worth noting that Larry Elliott, the Guardian's economics editor, is a long time Eurosceptic and committed supporter of Brexit. He regularly pens pro-Brexit articles in an otherwise largely Remain-slanted paper (although obviously he's coming from a Lexiteer angle), and this amusingly confuses many Guardian readers in the comments.

On Falsehoods: as far as I know, Luke Harding's scoop on Manafort meeting Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy has not been stood up, and seems to have gone quiet. While not a deliberate falsehood, this is an embarrassing misfire.

But I do agree it's a remarkable paper, one I'm happy to contribute to.

I agree, the Guardian is highly partisan. I look at it most days as it has a very clear position. What I find surprising is that many people who share the Guardian view of the world think it is impartial, where in actuality they are crowd funding an echo chamber of belief reinforcement. I feel the quality of their writing has gone way down in the last few years, with far too many judgmental opEds dominating.

Newspapers are inherently partisan; that's fine, as long as the reader knows what they stand for.

You can have a political signature, yet perform fairly objective journalism.

I agree that there's no escaping partisanship. But a paper will have a stronger editorial line on some issues, than others. The Guardian have an almost totally one-sided line on Brexit.

I do not agree that there is such a thing as 'objective journalism'. There is accurate journalism: a commitment to not telling falsehoods. But how your select and interpret events is never 'objective' - it is partisan.

I totally disagree. The Guardian has outright lied about people I have personally spoken to. They also constantly call people Alt-Right. I actually emailed them about them calling people Alt-Right (which is a very specific meaning these days) and they wouldn't give me a definition, which means they don't know what it means.

There are events that I was either a part of that they have lied about by carefully omitting the truth or using the good old scare quotes. Their opinion pieces are written by awful hypocrites that constantly demand increasing censorship of the internet in the UK.

It looks like their e-begging has worked. I was hoping it was going to go under.

BTW. I generally hate all the press in the UK. This includes both left wing and the right wing rags. They all lie or misrepresent the truth when it suits their narrative.

I personally feel the Guardian is too biased and cherry-picks things too much to be a good source of objective information. Unfortunately this is the case for almost all news groups these days. The best thing I've found is the Financial Times - it has its own biases for sure, but its journalism has always impressed me, and I've never found it overly distorting facts.

I’ve found this page https://www.adfontesmedia.com/ an interesting starting point to judge relative bias and accuracy of publications - although I’m sure even that site will be accused of bias.

Yeah I've subscribed to a few places, but it would be nice to have an easier system for subscribing and just add a bunch of news orgs to it.

>Ideally, I would be able to set up an all-you-can-eat subscription to a number of well-regarded international newspapers for languages that I am proficient in and access them at will from both a single portal (like Blendle, but absolutely not paying per article) and the newspapers own websites.

What are your thoughts on Apple News+?

The need to actually 'sell clicks online' in a non quasi-monopolized way (i.e. in the era of papers, there were few choices) and driving clicks might very well be pushing news organizations into more click-baity and biased coverage.

The Guardian's shameful and biased reporting on Brexit - a very important subject with quite a lot of substance to cover - is exactly why I will not give them money.

If you want someone to tell you 'it's all shambles' - then that's fine, just recognize that's it.

The Guardian has been one of the least reliable and biased news sources on this subject.

1) Their Brexit articles do not contain any technical, economic or otherwise sourced data. It's almost all unsubstantiated opinion. There are more references on HN than in the G on this subject.

The G does not provide one shred of even half-serious information on the economy, job market, currency issues, etc. as it relates to Brexit.

For that we have to visit the FT. We shouln't.

2) They do not provide deep background on other important social and economic activities. For example, they do not send reporters outside of their bubble to talk to various individuals about their situation. They might voice the arbitrary opinion of someone local and like-minded (usually a celebrity), and that's it.

3) Their reporting is mostly political, and mostly one-sided. Consider their coverage of competing pro/remain rallies in London: the data points around crowd sizes were biased, the messaging of anyone not holding their view was totally misrepresented, and the tone was obviously biased.

Unfortunately, there is actually no really good source for Brexit coverage. The BBC is actually light, Telegraph takes 'the other side', the FT stays mostly away and leans Liberal Democrat / pro-business, the rest is political/populist hit and miss without a lot of substance.


Feel free to disagree but generically around HN other users expect more than "ha ha sure".

You know, I don’t particularly agree with the leftist bent of the Guardian. However, that being said, the Guardian is, by far, one of the highest quality publications available today. While the views don’t always align with mine, I can respect quality. Wishing the folks at the Guardian continued success; I appreciate being exposed to alternative views that consistently challenge my own.

What publication would you recommend for someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum? The Times has a paywall and the Telegraph is only good for rugby.

Don't know about the UK, but the National Review, The American Conservative and National Affairs are pretty solid conservative journalism.

Call me a dreamer, but I believe unbiased reporting should be the goal of journalism and I associate a "political bent" with poor quality.

You must be associating (lack of) quality with how sensationalist/tabloid-style a publication is, which is more superficial.

> I appreciate being exposed to alternative views that consistently challenge my own

Which is why a publication should aim to challenge its readers with opposing opinion pieces, instead of constantly reinforcing their beliefs (aka "the easy way out").

> Call me a dreamer, but I believe unbiased reporting should be the goal of journalism and I associate a "political bent" with poor quality.

If you want "unbiased reporting" you get articles like: Angela Merkel ate Aspargus yesterday.

That's unbiased. It's also irrelevant. Anything more interesting will always have a bias as long as it is written by humans.

For (largely) unbiased reporting read the Financial Times - https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/financial-times/

The Guardian do pretty well: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-guardian/ - but are well known to be left leaning

Financial Times have a very strong bias towards liberal economic policy. They support de-regulation and reduced state involvement in markets. Similar to the econmist.


Left is wrong just like creationism and liberal economic policy is right just like nature.

Now i get it.

"Left" doesn't imply illiberal economic policy at all, though one might get that impression when dealing with all these vocal armchair marxists that haven't actually read any economics.

If you're equating modern economic policy with hard science you're making a pretty big stretch.

I'm not. Economics can never be a hard science. Neither can sociology, or psychology, or even medicine.

Shall we dismiss these fields altogether on those grounds? That would be foolish.

The notion that reasonable reporting is some kind of unattainable ephemeral ideal is obvious nonsense pushed forward by ideologues. Before 2014 most of the mainstream media were keeping their biases in check. It doesn't mean they had no biases or that they were always objective, but they tried. Today they simply don't. It is normal to pepper news articles with expletives, inject political rants into unrelated subjects and do wild speculation.

It's not like all the news articles from before 6 years ago have been lost in a fire. One can still go and read them. Even look at front page snapshots via archive.org. The different is astounding.

> Anything more interesting will always have a bias as long as it is written by humans.

While that is technically true, it's also a completely meaningless objection. Like I said, being unbiased is the goal. It's an ideal.

For comparison, even though it may be technically impossible to have zero lead in drinking water, your goal is still to minimize it.

Show me a news paper without a political bent? Centerism or balance for the sake of balance is also a political bent. The Guardian does a better job than most in reporting hard facts and news about the world.

I wonder if you apply your standard for quality to everything you read in an unbiased way?

Centrism isn't the same as "unbiased". That would be the "truth lies in the middle" fallacy.

Let's take global warming. Some people on the right may say it doesn't exist. Some people on the left may say it exists and it is a great danger. The "middle ground" would probably be something like "It exists, but it is not such a great danger". The "unbiased" view would be whatever the science says.

> I wonder if you apply your standard for quality to everything you read in an unbiased way?

No. I don't apply it to HN comments, for instance.

You're agreeing with my point.

The headline is incorrect. The Guardian recorded positive EBITDA, but did not record positive Operating Profit (almost universally used to refer to EBIT).

The original source[0] seems to deliberately conflate the two measures: "GNM has achieved its break even goal delivering an operating profit at EBITDA level of £0.8 million"

The BBC article then parroted the 'operating profit' part, leaving out the 'at EBITDA level' qualifier, thus turning a slightly misleading statement into a factually incorrect one.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/p/bcd4a

They're an excellent publication that publish stories[0] that the New York times, LA times, and other institutional newspapers would not dare to touch.

If you value your privacy and your constitutional rights - please consider donating to the Guardian. They are one of the very few news organizations that are not censored by the US/UK gov't. [0]:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/the-nsa-files

I have a friend whose email was hacked. His personal photos of himself, his wife and child were taken. The guardian called him and said "we need a quote from you about an article on XYZ or we'll release your personal information found in the e-mails." So in this particular case "If you value your privacy" does not apply to the Guardian. Unless you feel they have a constitutional right to blackmail people?

That is an extraordinary claim, and needs some evidence for it to be taken seriously.

That is quite the extraordinary claim.

Which news organisations are censored by the UK government?

Uhhh, the BBC is funded by the UK Government...

there's plenty of UK news outlets that are not the BBC

I'm also interested in hearing how the UK/US government is allegedly censoring news outlets, that's a pretty big claim for a top level comment

There's a bit of censorship that goes on behind the scenes, i'll let you google for specific examples.

Highly recommend watching 'kill the messenger'. Fun movie to watch and it will give you a sense of what i am talking about.

Self-censorship is a thing. News organizations have sat on stories in the past for fear of rocking some boat too hard.

The BBC is independent by decree and design. There’s certainly an establishment slant, but that’s down to hiring decisions and the class system more than anything.

It is flat wrong to suggest that most news organizations are censored by the US/UK government.

I always get a good laugh when I'm reading an article on the Guardian about protecting my privacy and look up to see uMatrix reporting 182 trackers blocked.

Yes but they have their own agendas. I think I have seen one comment piece that was from a pro brexit point of view over the last three years. During the Irish abortion referendum run up, it was the same. It was as though the right to have an abortion was self evidently as much a human right as free speech. The guardian overall is too black and white for me.

Ironically, sitting where I do (in the London bubble), it feels pretty uncontroversial to me that the right to have an abortion is self evident, whereas free speech is not clear at all--the competing interests of the individual and society have to be balanced. So, for me, the Guardian reflects the perspective it is embedded in rather than having an agenda which is pushed e.g. because of a wealthy proprietor.

Is that not like saying it suffers from groupthink? Because I do feel there's a consensus of opinion among their writers on most topics. You see a greater range of views in the times and the daily telegraph which are owned by wealthy proprietors as has long been common in the industry.

They publish opinion pieces from people holding quite different views.

I haven't noticed that, quite the opposite is my impression.

That is also my impression. Especially on social issues, so much of what they publish is shamelessly ideological. I get that we can't completely eliminate bias, but I have no use for a publication that makes no attempt.

This is such an interesting topic. You find them "shamelessly ideological" probably because you don't agree with some of their commentaries. It's a fair point, but objectively, it doesn't say much about the quality their journalism.

Here is a concrete example; no reputable news outlet would publish an opinion piece by a creationist in an attempt to be fair or unbiased, and I guess most people here on HN would agree with that. But it gets more interesting. Ideology can be so powerful and deep-seated that becomes virtually invisible, but it's hard to argue that it's not there.

It’s not hard to distinguish between someone who is trying to be neutral and objective and someone who is pushing an agenda. It’s one thing to accidentally let some bias slip in and quite another to advocate openly for your worldview. Notably, the Guardian behaves as a participant in (rather than observer of) a debate, and not even a good faith participant, only misrepresenting their opponents’ views if not overtly engaging in libel. Also, when your own ideology is not dominant, you become quite aware of your own biases because you have to in order to engage productively with the dominant ideology (turns out viewpoint diversity is actually pretty important).

So what you're saying is, that The Guardian is pushing an anti-creationist agenda? Why are they not representing creationists in good faith? Every time they have an article on evolution, the Guardian must also push an article on creationism in order to ensure that they are not pushing an agenda.

I think you’re responding to the wrong person. I didn’t say anything that remotely resembles this...

The parent poster brought up an example of news outlets not publishing Creationist opinions. You claimed that The Guardian is not engaging in good faith by being a participant in a debate rather than an observer.

My counterpoint was a simple ask: Is The Guardian therefore not behaving in good faith if for example they choose to not publish opinions by Creationists, or if they don't give equal weighting to Creationists whenever a discussion about say, evolution appears.

My post had nothing to do with creationists nor were they a principle feature of the thread. I’m not really interested in this tangent. If creationism is a metaphor for pseudoscience in general, then my beef is that the Guardian publishes it exclusively and gives comparatively little time to evidence-based positions. Or more accurately, it talks about evidence-based positions deceptively and in bad faith, cherry picking and gas lighting. This is all pretty abstract and I don’t especially care to debate it in depth (not here, anyway)—if someone disagrees with my characterization, that’s fine—my position doesn’t require everyone everywhere to agree with me at all costs.

Can you explain to me what evidence-based positions The Guardian gaslights or engages with in bad faith?

if it's ideological, it's not really journalism, is it? It's opinion. We're long past the days of A.M. Rosenthal and Walter Cronkite, where journalists actively exercised restraint in injecting their personal biases into the stories they were covering. This isn't surprising, because facts without opinions just don't sell that well in our modern attention economy.

https://www.newsweek.com/new-biography-cbs-newsman-walter-cr... specifically mentions him injecting his personal bias into stories (Vietnam, Goldwater, Nixon), etc.

Ditto. My impression is also that the Guardian is shamelessly ideological.

Wasn't 1998 the midpoint of one the greatest economic booms in history? Kinda like the one we are currently in? As a 90s kid I remember hearing about how record unemployment and stock records on TV back then. It's amazing that the guardian hasn't had a profit in 20 years.

This just shows that major news companies are not real companies, but state or systematic enterpises. I can see microsoft or google going out of business sometime in the future. But I can't see the guardian or the nytimes or any of the major news companies going out of business. Because they are part of the system though they claim to be the ones keeping an eye on the system.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that in 100 years, amazon won't exist. But I'd never bet that the nytimes wouldn't exist. Though amazon may be a trillion dollar company, it's still a company. Whiles the nytimes is more than a system. It's part of the power structure.

One thing the Guardian gets right (in my opinion) is their online subscriber model.

I subscribed to it, the cost is reasonable (£5/month) and it was easy to sign up and is easy to cancel.

Recently I wanted to get some news from a more right-wing perspective, so I looked at paying for the The times.

Their site advertises a two month £7.99 subscription, which is fine.

However what you don't find till you go to sign up is after that it's £26/month which isn't cheap and, far worse, to cancel a subscription you have to phone them.

This kind of classic dark pattern (easy to sign-up hard to cancel) was enough for me to cancel out and not complete the sub.

I fell for the Times subscription too. Fair enough, I did expect the cost to increase after the initial promotion period but not the hurdles required to cancel.

But then, when you subscribe and find you're seeing as many ads as you do with free to view alternatives it's not surprising they are going to rely on keeping you locked in for as long as possible?

You only find out the real non introductory price after you subscribe? Is that even legal in the EU?

Oh right, the UK wants to exit the EU... I wonder why...

HN is weird sometimes: this submission of mine was made earlier, on the same subject, and only attracted a few sparse comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19803586

I am always interested in looking at cases like these and try to discern why one submission received a lot more attention than another one. I guess it's more haruspex than science.

It’s all about that headline. Yours conveys a reference to information, this one conveys the interesting part up front. In a world where both print and digital media are seeing consolidation and bankruptcy almost daily, this is a story of an outlet with quality journalism making a profit. It made my Friday.

I would guess it depends at what time you post. Posting at 3am would have different results than a 3pm post.

I don't really get this "have the old media survive" stuff.

Media always need resources to get produced, no matter which format. So they are never independent. Whoever provides these resources has the power. But that's not a big deal because it applies to almost everything. And if you say profit is the master ,then you need to do attention whoring and advertisement. If politics is your master then you do propaganda. If a super rich is your master, then you will keep silent about their allys and denounce their enemies. All that is normal. It's not perfect but it can't be improved either. You can only exchange one master for another.

And you also don't have to worry that there won't be a master. Of course there will always be people who want to reach out to N other people for a number of reasons. Some people just like the attention, some use it for power plays, some use it to convince people to do something.

And no matter what's in it, there will also always be consumers. Because they too like a good show and some attention.

So honestly we should simply not mind. If you work in the industry see where things are going and develop skills in that direction. If you own a medium, try to innovate and/or buy developing new media. If you are a consumer simply consume what you like the most.

> Media always need resources to get produced, no matter which format. So they are never independent. Whoever provides these resources has the power. (…) It's not perfect but it can't be improved either. You can only exchange one master for another.

There’s a big difference between being dependent on (a) a wealthy owner, (b) big advertisers, and (c) readers.

I'm not sure I've ever seen a successful news organization that hasn't relied on some combination of all three.

Well the Guardian has managed to be successful without a wealthy owner.

This is a strikingly nihilistic view. "Just consume what you want, some of it will be propaganda, so it doesn't matter whether any of it is accurate or not and it's not worth trying to strive for anything better. Just lie down in front of the tanks and enjoy the show."

Is it nihilistic to say "you can't have objective media"? I don't think so. "Objective" is an illusion. It doesn't exist. A computer log maybe is objective. But the moment an admin looks at it and decides for which messages he restarts a service and for which messages he writes emails, it becomes subjective reporting. The intentions at this point are an important part of the messaging that he produces.

Same for news. There's always an intention. The reporter has an intention, the newspaper/tv-channel/youtuber/instagrammer has an intention, the reader has an intention.

The main idea I want to bring across is that one needs to have another method of consuming. It's always important to read the text and guess the intentions involved.

And actually it's optimistic, because even if newspapers how they exist today die, there will still be news, reporters will still have work, etc. No need of saving anything but the leadership position of the current dominating powers behind the media.

When discussing the media, it’s singularly important to speak of “citizen”, not “consumers”. The importance of media is far larger than entertainment. You could never read a single newspaper or magazine, neither in print nor online, nor watch TV or listen to podcasts, and still you would profit immensely just from others having access to quality news.

The Guardian has become a clickbait rag in the last decade. I can't say I'm happy their bad behavior is being rewarded.

Do you read the Guardian? I do, practically everyday, and I can say - As someone is centre-right, i.e. not the guardian's idea of their readers - that just isn't true.

This comment ignores the existence of Owen Jones, of course, but still.

I agree this news is pretty sad. The Guardian has no objectivity any more. I wish it were possible for newspapers to survive as non-partisan entities, but it's looking less and less likely that'll ever be true.

Would like to know how much they receive via Brave/BAT: https://batgrowth.com/publishers/website

Could be a nice boost to adoption if it's significant, but maybe they want to keep it their secret ...

> To apply for this position you must already have the right to work in the UK.

Why must be dreams only be dreams? Signed, a developer in continental Europe.

Brexit hasn't happened yet. You still currently have the right to work in the UK.

Even after Brexit (if it ever happens) you should still apply. Rights to work in the UK can be acquired. From my observation the number of non EU IT workers (and foreign workers in general) out-number those from the EU

If you're in the EU, you have the right to work in the UK

Brexit hasn't happened yet

If you’re ready to move to the UK for this, then you will be fine. Even with a hard Brexit , the sunset period for EU residents to apply for special grandfathering status of their residency doesn’t end until quite late:

> If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.


## If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

> You will need to be living in the UK before it leaves the EU to apply. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.


If you can afford an adventure: take the plunge! :) and let me know when you get here, we’ll go for a coffee.

Any idea what the top of the pay band is?

Glassdoor says for a software engineer there it's between 50-57k GBP, which is about 65-75k USD

Not to bad for the UK

Not too good for london

Are most of The Guardians offices in London?

It did start off as The Manchester Guardian after all.

Not sure they have anything left in Manchester now. They moved to London decades ago, and sold off the Evening News sometime in the 00s. I think MEN was the last significant presence. If anything remains I expect it's a minor operation.

Most non junior developers in the UK (edit: in London) are contractors which starts at about 250 gbp/day, but average is probably more like 600/day. Can easily be as high as 1200 though.

So a contractor with 5 or 6 years experience can easily make over 100k/annum if you knock off some time for holidays, pensions, gaps between contracts etc.

That's not really true. Day rate for a decent SE contractor is about 400/500 (but ofc they don't get that, as mostly private contracting is rare).

But the big thing I disagree with is "most"... the perm industry in the UK is strong!

> but ofc they don't get that, as mostly private contracting is rare

Is it? I've been contracting in the UK (through my own limited company ofc) for the past two years, at the top end of your band, and had no impression that what I do is rare. I'm glad to see this thread actually, for my next gig I'll definitely push for more money.

Directly with the company in question? or through a resourcing firm? my experience (On the other end of that transaction) is that the former is rarer because working through a specialist contract placement firm (e.g. Spring) has various attractions to a company (albeit higher cost).

Shure your really outside IR35 ?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to the best of my ability

Why do you say private contracting is rare in the UK? Every software company I've been to here is like 50% contractors.

Most companies will contract through a management firm than with the individual directly.

Not really in the UK - its mostly PLC or Umberella Companies for contractors.

The fake contractor aka a body shop where you are a normal employee of some third party is not that common.

Do you have a source for "most" here? Most of the senior devs I know are full-time non-contractors (though that is quite possibly just a property of my friend group and location (Cambridge)).

£1200 per day? The max day rate for web development I have seen in London was £650/day but normally £550/day. You can also easily earn £90k as a perm in London.

Depends almost 20 years ago in BT we paid that for a High end Oracle contractor.

That day rate might be for a big four consultant 20 years ago it was around £900

Finance is about double that.

You would seriously struggle on that in central London.

It isn't a particularly high salary for an experienced developer here in London, but struggle is an exaggeration. The majority of people in the UK and even central London are paid less than this.

I doubt that’s true for professionals working in central London.

Where would you live on that much money? You’ll spend your life and most of your money commuting!

Live in Zone 3, spend maybe an hour and seven quid a day on the tube? London rents are outrageous, but not so outrageous you can't afford to live there on £50-57k.

You’re supposed to not spend more than three times your salary on your house, according to most lenders. So that’s £150k. Are there many houses that cheap in Zone 3?

That 3x thing is laughable where I am in Auckland. I assume other places have it worse, unless their wages are much, much higher.

No, you'd probably have to rent unless you can get a massive deposit from somewhere.

The limit is about 4.5x, and that’s on top of any deposit you have saved.

No, that's why a vast proportion of people can't afford to buy.

That's exactly what happens.

But pretty bad for Europe overall (?)

As I understand it its good compared to France and Germany - maybe Switzerland would get you more but Switzerland is expensive

It is less than a train driver gets for a 4 day week though :-(

I was thinking purchasing parity-adjusted, where Berlin seems a lot more affordable [0]. Switzerland (where I currently live) isn't such a clear-cut picture, as you say [1]. I earn more than what Numbeo suggests, and that is nowhere close to the top of the salary range.

[0] https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?cou... [1] https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?cou...

Just from my personal experience, having lived in both London and Berlin within the past 2 years, the affordability gap seems to me to be closing fast between Berlin and London.

If anyone is making a London vs Berlin decision in 2019, I would advise take a really detailed look at the cost of living numbers if it's an important factor in your decision.

To be honest there are many other important differences and tradeoffs between the two cities that make a like-for-like lifestyle comparison basically impossible, but just assuming for a second you could do so, the days of simply assuming Berlin will be significantly cheaper without having to think about the details too much I think are over.

I looked into this extensively after getting an offer to move from Berlin to London and renting somewhere like Wapping in London was still 3x the price of renting in Mitte in Berlin. It takes a lot of additional salary to make up a difference of 2000 euros a month post tax.

Yeah, that's fair - the big caveat with London is that you'll basically be renting in zone 2 outwards if optimising cost of living is in any way important to you. That's one of the tradeoffs I always forget when comparing Berlin and London.

Though to be fair, London being what it is, plenty of places in zone 2 still very much feel like bustling city living if that's your thing. Berlin, less so - once you're out of the central neighbourhoods it gets 'suburban' rather more quickly.

fwiw (more anecdata), Switzerland has Google's highest pay scale of any office around the world, including NYC & the Bay Area... and it's not even all that close (something like 10-15% difference).

Berlin is an outlier it used to be this strange cold war limbo place until relatively recently - thought that is now changing

Swiss trains are really expensive though, 20 min ride from Zurich to Zug is like $35 one way. thats a good racket they got going there I would expect train drivers to get a hefty cut of that

Is that not a respected trade there? Or perhaps unskilled labor in comparison to these jobs?

I think he's talking about the tube drivers [0]

[0] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/london-tube-drivers-earni...

I was thinking of Thames link 60k basic for 4 day week plus OT plus Final Salary Pension.

It seems closer to 18CHF, ~ 17USD, after a cursory search.

This is actually cheaper than buying 3.22 Big Macs would be, compared across both countries [0].

[0] https://www.bigmacindexconverter.com/

So the round trip is 35?

Must have got my tickets mixed up

Seems so, or you found a train faster than 26min.

Pretty sure it is negotiable based on experience on your previous compensation. At least from my experience working in London, you can always negotiate.

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