Raised in Yorkshire, the daughter of teachers, Viner was educated at Ripon Grammar School and read English at the University of Oxford. Just before her finals, Viner won a competition organised by The Guardian's women's page and was advised to pursue a career in journalism.
After periods on Cosmopolitan and The Sunday Times Magazine, Viner joined The Guardian in 1997, at first working on the women's page, and became editor of the Saturday Weekend supplement in 1998. She was made features editor in 2006 and deputy editor in 2008 at the same time as Ian Katz.
She is best known for My Name Is Rachel Corrie, a play she compiled with actor Alan Rickman from the writings and emails of Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed in Rafah, Gaza in 2003. The play was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in 2005.
In January 2013, it was announced that Viner would shortly relocate to Sydney to supervise a new Guardian digital edition in Australia.
- Katharine Viner "Dear diary ...", The Guardian, 27 November 2004
- Profile page, The Guardian
- "General Information: A short history of Ripon Grammar School", Ripon Grammar School
- Julie Tomlin "‘It’s good to feel scared from time to time’", Press Gazette, 6 May 2005
- Dominic Ponsford "Guardian aims big guns at web", Press Gazette, 3 February 2006
- Laura Oliver "Guardian News & Media names Paul Johnson as deputy editor", Journalism.co.uk, 6 August 2008
- Katharine Viner "'Let me fight my monsters'", The Guardian, 8 April 2005
- Mark Sweney "Guardian News & Media to launch digital Australia edition", guardian.co.uk, 15 January 2013
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