- The Guardian (US) was a New York newspaper published from 1948-1992. The Guardian was also the name of a U.S. television series.
The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. It is a serious broadsheet newspaper published Monday-Saturday, with relatively left-of-centre politics. Until 1959 it was called The Manchester Guardian, reflecting its provincial origins: the paper is still sometimes referred to by this name, especially in North America. The Guardian has a daily circulation of around 345,000 copies (Jul-Dec 2004) , which compares with other UK serious daily newspaper sales of 867,000 for the Daily Telegraph, 616,000 for The Times, and 226,000 for The Independent. The paper is sometimes known as The Grauniad (coined by Private Eye), as a result of frequent typographical errors for which it became infamous, although these are now uncommon. The Guardian has established a reputation for writing critical articles.
The Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group of newspapers, radio stations, and new media including The Observer Sunday newspaper, the Manchester Evening News, and Guardian Unlimited, one of the most popular online news resources on the Internet. All the aforementioned are owned by The Scott Trust, a charitable foundation which aims to ensure the newspaper's editorial independence in perpetuity, maintaining its financial health to ensure it does not become vulnerable to take over by for-profit media groups, and the serious compromise of editorial independence that this often brings.
The Guardian and its parent groups are a participant in Project Syndicate , established by George Soros, and have recently intervened to save the Mail & Guardian in South Africa , but Guardian Media Group later sold the shares of the Mail & Guardian it held.
The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen headed by John Edward Taylor. The first edition was published on May 5, 1821, and it became a daily paper in 1855.
Its most famous editor, C. P. Scott made the Manchester Guardian into a noted newspaper. He was editor for 57 years from 1872, buying the paper from the estate of Taylor's son in 1907.
In June 1936, to avoid death duty, ownership of the paper was passed to the Scott Trust (named after the last owner, John Russell Scott, who was the first chairman of the Trust). The paper was then noted for its eccentric style, its moralising and its detached attitude to its finances.
Traditionally affiliated with the centrist Liberal Party, and with a northern circulation base, the paper earned a national reputation and the respect of the left during the Spanish Civil War, when along with the now defunct News Chronicle it was the only UK source of news that was not tainted by support for the insurgent nationalists led by General Francisco Franco.
In 1959 the paper dropped "Manchester" from its title, becoming simply The Guardian, and 1964 it moved to London, losing some of its regional agenda but continuing to be heavily subsidised by sales of the less intellectual but much more profitable Manchester Evening News. The financial position remained extremely poor into the 1970s; at one time it was in merger talks with The Times. The paper consolidated its left-wing stance during the 1970s and 1980s but was both shocked and revitalised by the launch of The Independent in 1986 which competed for similar readers and provoked the entire broadsheet industry into a fight for circulation. In 1988 The Guardian had a significant redesign; as well as improving the quality of its printers ink, it also changed its masthead. In 1993 the paper declined to participate in the broadsheet 'price war' started by Rupert Murdoch's The Times. Also in 1993, The Guardian bought The Observer from Lonrho, thus gaining a serious Sunday newspaper partner with similar political views.
In 1995, both the Granada Television program World In Action and The Guardian were sued for libel by the then cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken, for their allegation that the Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Fahd had paid for Aitken and his wife to stay at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris, which would have amounted to accepting a bribe on Aitken's part. Aitken publically stated he would fight with "the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play" . The court case proceeded, and in 1997 The Guardian produced evidence that Aitken's claim of his wife paying for the hotel stay was untrue.  In 1999, Aitken was jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice. 
During the Afghanistan and Iraq wars The Guardian attracted a significant proportion of anti-war readers as one of the few mass-media media outlets willing to critically analyse UK and USA military initiatives. The newspaper also gained readers in the United States where there were especially few "anti-war" rivals.
Its international weekly edition is now titled The Guardian Weekly, though it retained the title Manchester Guardian Weekly for some years after the home edition had moved to London. It includes sections from a number of other internationally significant newspapers of a somewhat left-of-centre inclination, including Le Monde. In 2004, The Guardian introduced an online digital version of its print edition, allowing readers to download that day's issue as a PDF file.
The Guardian also has a series of talkboards based on WebX technology that are noted for their unique mix of serious political disussion and purely British whimsy.
Moving to the Berliner
In 2004, the Guardian announced plans to change to a "Berliner" or "midi" format similar to that used by Le Monde in France and some other European papers; at 470×315 mm, this is slightly larger than a traditional tabloid. Expected to take place by the end of 2005 (some have suggested Monday 5th September 2005 as the starting date), this change is either a response to, or has the same cause as, the moves by The Times and The Independent to start publishing in tabloid (or "compact") format.
An article in the Independent on Sunday, dated January 30 2005, suggested that the move may be fraught with problems. As of January 2005, no printing press in the UK can produce newspapers in the Berliner format. One of the Guardian's presses is part owned by groups responsible for The Daily Telegraph and The Times who would likely require compensation if the Guardian pulls out. It is contracted to use the plant until 2009.
Another press is shared with the Guardian Media Group's north western local tabloid papers - which do not wish to switch to the Berliner format.
The Guardian is rumoured to be spending over £65 million on the project as a whole.
On a weekday The Guardian comes with the G2 supplement containing feature articles, columns, television and radio listings and the quick crossword. Other supplements are included during the week are:
- Monday - Media, Office Hours, Sport
- Tuesday - Education
- Wednesday - Society (covers the British public sector and related issues.)
- Thursday - Life (covers science.), Online
- Friday - Friday Review (covers music and film.)
- Saturday - The Guide (a weekly listings magazine), Weekend (the colour supplement ), Saturday Review (covers literature), Jobs and Money, Travel, Sport
The Guardian in the popular imagination
The affectionate name the Grauniad for the paper came about because, in the past, it was noted for frequent text mangling, technical typesetting failures and typographical errors, including once misspelling its own name in the 1970s. Although such errors are now less frequent than they used to be, the 'Corrections and clarifications' column can still often provide some amusement. There were even a number of errors in the first issue, perhaps the most notable being a notification that there would soon be some goods sold at atction, instead of auction.
Until the foundation of the Independent, the Guardian was the only serious national daily newspaper in England that was not clearly conservative in its political affiliation. The term "Guardian reader" is therefore often used pejoratively by right-wingers. The reactionary stereotype of a Guardian reader is a person with leftist or liberal politics rooted in the 1960s, working in the public sector, regularly eating lentils and muesli, wearing sandals and believing in alternative medicine and natural medicine as evidenced by Labour MP Kevin Hughes' largely rhetorical question in the House of Commons on November 19, 2001:
"Does my right hon. Friend find it bizarre — as I do — that the yoghurt- and muesli-eating, Guardian-reading fraternity are only too happy to protect the human rights of people engaged in terrorist acts, but never once do they talk about the human rights of those who are affected by them?" 
Like most stereotypes, this one is both inaccurate and outdated (for example, the Guardian's science coverage is extensive and is characterised by a contempt for alternative medicine), but it is a persistent feature of English political discourse.
Even doctors perpetuate the stereotype by using the acronym GROLIES on patient notes. The acronym expands to Guardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt. 
The Guardian has a tradition of spoof articles on April Fool's Day, sometimes contributed by regular advertisers such as BMW. The most elaborate of these was a travel supplement on San Serriffe.
Operation Clark County
In August 2004, for the US presidential election, the editor of the supplement "G2", Ian Katz, thought it would be an interesting idea to do a letter-writing campaign in Clark County, Ohio as this was a small county in a swing state. He bought a voter list from the county for $25 and asked people to write to those on the list undecided in the election. The point of this venture was for the writers to give Clark County voters a taste of international opinion. The Guardian's web pages describing how to get the name and address of a Clark County resident stressed that this campaign in no way encouraged letter writers to endorse any candidate in the election. This caused something of a backlash. On the 21st October, The Guardian decided to retire the campaign. Republican incumbent George W. Bush went on to win 51 percent of the Clark County vote -- the only county in Ohio that was won by Al Gore in 2000 that Bush took in 2004.
Notable regular contributors (past and present)
Other publications of the same name
The Guardian was also the title of
- a short-lived publication of 1713, founded by Richard Steele and featuring contributions by his collaborator Joseph Addison.
- a weekly Anglican newspaper founded in 1846 by Richard William Church and others, which ran until 1951.