Home Media A Lovely Example Of Guardian Economics

A Lovely Example Of Guardian Economics



Firstly, there’s the joy in seeing that The Guardian does things differently. The traditional split in a newspaper business is that the publisher (for Americans, managing director for Brits, largely enough) deals with money. The editor deals with content. One substantial reason for this is so that those providing the money – advertisers for example – don’t gain detailed control over the content.

Yes, obviously, they should have control over whether they advertise or not and that will depend upon who the content attracts and all that. And yes, if a major advertisers gets pissed off at being attacked they might leave and so on. But having the person who decides the content different from the person who sells the advertising does aid in splitting the two things.

The chief executive, an American-born neuroscientist who worked her way up in scientific publishing before making an unusual switch to news, has not only had to get to grips with Fleet Street but also the Guardian’s unique characteristics as the only left-leaning broadsheet.

The editor-in-chief is elected by a vote of journalists and has historically had authority over business as well as editorial decisions.

They have to do it differently, obviously.

However, there’s so much fun in the economic worldview being put forward by the true believers:

Following his departure in 2015 cash outflows topped £72m and prompted the Scott Trust to back a three-year turnaround plan under Ms Viner and Ms Thomas’s predecessor as chief executive, David Pemsel. Ms Viner’s supporters point out that she jointly led an effort that brought the Guardian back from the brink of a financial crisis.

OK, cool. So, past changes in behaviour made things better. So, what’s the immediate demand?

The Guardian has reported that combination of cost cuts and stable revenues meant that overall cash outflow last year was “only” £16m. That compares with £29m in the year before the pandemic. With the support of the returns from the Scott Trust’s endowment, the Guardian believes it can afford negative cash flow of up to £30m annually.

Last year’s performance has prompted calls from the newsroom, led by Ms Viner, and National Union of Journalists representatives for renewed investment. Ms Thomas, who joined the Guardian two weeks before the first lockdown from a career in scientific publishing, is understood to have resisted such demands, arguing that greater financial discipline is required to deliver stability.

We must have an immediate reversal of those changes that made things better.

It’s just so Guardian, isn’t it?



  1. ” the only left-leaning broadsheet.” Some consider all broadsheets, perhaps The Telegraph excepted, left leaning.

    • Even the new, woke Telegraph is increasingly left leaning, albeit still the most right-wing broadsheet. How I miss Peter Simple 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

Support Us

Recent posts

Expunct comes of age (sorta)

Today is the proper one year anniversary of the launch of expunct. It's been a rollercoaster but we wanted to create a site to...

We Can Help Salon Out Here Over Abortion And The Biden Administration

It's entirely true that abortion is one of those difficult questions. It's even true that the answers rather divide Americans. However, it's still possible...

Nick Dearden Really Is A Ghastly Oik

Dearden is from Global Justice Now - the usual bunch of Trots who never quite have left mother's basement. Their political views haven't advanced...

So Here’s The Actual Complaint About Amazon’s Diversity

It's possible that Amazon is simply packed full of thuggish racists who delight in keeping the poor folk down. Possible, even if perhaps a...

Government Health Care Causes Corruption

This isn't what Transparency International quite means to say here but it is indeed what they are saying. Government provided health care leads to...

Recent comments