Alan Rusbridger, U.K.

International Press Freedom Awards

2012 CPJ Burton Benjamin Memorial Awardee

(Guardian News & Media Ltd/David Levene)
(Guardian News & Media Ltd/David Levene)

Alan Rusbridger has been the editor of the Guardian since 1995, leading the U.K. newspaper into becoming a stalwart of watchdog reporting and independent journalism while pioneering and championing open journalism.

Whether in courtrooms or on online platforms, Rusbridger has persevered in staunch defense of the right of the press to investigate and publish stories in the public interest. In his presentation to the United Kingdom’s Leveson inquiry on media regulation in 2011–following the News of the World phone hacking scandal that his own newspaper exposed–he argued that a free press is a vital check on power and that the battle to maintain that freedom is never won.

Rusbridger’s career began at the U.K.’s Cambridge Evening News, where he trained as a reporter before joining the Guardian in 1979 and working as a feature writer and diary columnist. In 1986, he left the paper to become a TV critic for the Observer and the next year he worked as the Washington correspondent of the London Daily News. In 1989, he returned to the Guardian as a feature writer and soon moved from writing to editing.

Rusbridger helped to launch Guardian Weekend magazine and the paper’s G2 section, and he was made deputy editor in 1994. He oversaw the integration of the paper and its digital operations and soon the Guardian Unlimited–now–was born. Last year the Guardian launched its digital US operation based in New York. The Guardian is now the third largest newspaper website in the world.

Born in Zambia, Rusbridger graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English in 1976. He is a visiting fellow at Nuffield College at Oxford University and a visiting professor of history at Queen Mary’s College at the University of London. He has honorary doctorates from Lincoln and Kingston Universities.

Rusbridger is editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media and a member of its board. He is also a member of the board of the Guardian Media Group and a member of Scott Trust Limited, the company that owns the Guardian and the Observer.

To watch Alan Rusbridger’s acceptance speech, click here

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