The Guardian Weekly

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The Guardian Weekly
The Guardian Weekly (15 February 2019)
TypeWeekly news magazine
FormatNews magazine from 12 October 2018.
Owner(s)Guardian Media Group
EditorGraham Snowdon
Founded4 July 1919; 104 years ago (4 July 1919)
Political alignmentCentre-left
HeadquartersKings Place, London, England
Sister newspapersThe Guardian,
The Observer

The Guardian Weekly is an international English-language news magazine based in London, England. It is one of the world's oldest international news publications and has readers in more than 170 countries.[1] Editorial content is drawn from its sister publications, the British daily newspaper The Guardian and Sunday newspaper The Observer,[2] and all three are published and owned by the Guardian Media Group.[3]

The Guardian Weekly is currently edited by Graham Snowdon, while Will Dean is on a long-term secondment to the Guardian's Saturday magazine.[1][3]


Early years[edit]

The first edition of the Manchester Guardian Weekly was printed on 4 July 1919,[4] a week after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Manchester Guardian viewed itself as a leading liberal voice and wanted to extend its reach, particularly in the United States, in the changing political climate after the First World War. The Weekly had the stated aim of "presenting what is best and most interesting in the Manchester Guardian, what is most distinctive and independent of time, in a compact weekly form".[1] The initial reception was good. Before long the Manchester Guardian could boast "there is scarcely a corner of the civilised world to which it is not being posted regularly", although it is worth noting that the newspaper was banned in Germany by Hitler[5] for a time.

Evolution and editorship 1969-2007[edit]

For a large part of its early life the newspaper was a half-broadsheet format. Initially the notion of ‘the best of the Guardian’ meant a weighty opinion piece for the front page. It evolved, under the editorship of John Perkin,[6] in 1969, to include the use of pictures on the front page.

In 1971, the English edition of the French daily newspaper Le Monde folded and the Weekly took on its 12,000-strong subscription list as well as four pages of Le Monde copy. A content deal was made with The Washington Post in 1975. Dedicated pages from both publications augmented Guardian articles until a redesign in 1993, under new editor Patrick Ensor, led to their articles appearing across the Weekly. In the same year, content from The Observer [2] began to appear after the UK Sunday title was purchased by Guardian Media Group.[7]

Around this time the Weekly relocated from Cheadle, to the south of Manchester, to join the rest of the Guardian in London.[8] This move afforded the Weekly better access to editors, leader writers and news features. In 1991, technological advances enabled the first transmission by modem of pages to an Australian print site. Under Ensor's editorship, the paper began to be produced using the desktop publishing program Quark XPress. It became a tabloid-sized publication; then, in 2005, when the daily Guardian newspaper converted from a broadsheet to the smaller, Berliner format,[9] the Guardian Weekly shrank to a half-Berliner while increasing pagination to its now-standard 48 pages. Full-colour printing was also introduced. By the end of Ensor's editorship, curtailed by his death from cancer in 2007,[10] more advances in technology meant that even Weekly readers in the most remote locations were able to access the internet.

Since 2007[edit]

The appointment of Australian Natalie Bennett[11] as Ensor's successor coincided with the Guardian’s move to a digital-first publishing strategy. Breaking news stories were now launched on the Guardian's fast-growing website, rather than held back to meet print deadlines. In 2007 a digital edition[12] of the Guardian Weekly was created, an editor's blog[13] was added and a presence on social media sites Facebook[14] and Twitter[15] came soon after. The Guardian Weekly can be found online at, where subscription information is also available. During her editorship, Bennett emphasised the need for the Weekly’s agenda to be truly global and increased its coverage of environmental issues and the developing world. Her passion for environmental politics led to her departure from the paper in 2012. She would go on to become the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales until 2016.[16]

The Guardian Weekly’s evolution continued under Abby Deveney,[17] a newspaper, newswire and web editor with more than three decades of international experience living and working in North America, Asia and Europe. Under Canadian Deveney, the Weekly embraced long-form journalism, with a greater emphasis on insightful writing, deep analysis and lively features that showcase a well-rounded world view. Reportage of global themes and trends now features on the front page, while the back page is a stage for the Guardian’s influential opinion writers. Her global experience ensures that the Weekly never comes from one geographical perspective. This aim has been aided by the launch in 2011 of a Guardian US website, edited from New York City, followed two years later by a Sydney-based Guardian Australia site, which greatly increased the Weekly’s coverage opportunities in these key territories. Deveney left the editorship in 2017 and was eventually replaced by Will Dean in April 2018.

The Guardian Weekly was re-designed in October 2018 as a glossy magazine.[18] It was announced that the circulation of the magazine would increase, and three different editions would be published: International, North American, and Australian.[19]


The title is printed at sites in the UK, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in a full-colour news magazine format. The standard publication runs to 64 pages since its change of format (from a newspaper) on 12 October 2018.

Worldwide readership[edit]

Britain, Australia, the United States and Canada are the Guardian Weekly’s top markets, followed by New Zealand, France and Germany. With a following in more than 170 countries,[1] the Weekly’s audience is spread around the world.[20]

Surveys reveal that some 60% of subscribers had taken the paper for more than a decade. Readership tends towards a well-educated demographic. The typical reader is aged over 45, educated to at least degree level and either working in or retired from education, with a 59-41 male-female split.[1]

Readers say typical reasons for subscribing include: a family habit of taking the Manchester Guardian; a spell working abroad in development or teaching; and retirement or emigration (often to Australia, New Zealand or North America). Others often report their route to initiation into the Guardian Weekly family came by having a copy passed along to them in a workplace or during a secondment.

Notable readers[edit]

The paper's readers include many world statesmen, including Nelson Mandela, who subscribed during his time in prison and described the paper as his "window on the wider world".[21] George W. Bush was reportedly the first President of the United States since Jimmy Carter not to subscribe to the Guardian Weekly, breaking tradition with Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.[22]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e staff, Guardian Weekly (20 December 2016). "A short history of the Guardian Weekly: celebrating our success". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The Observer under review". BBC News. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) results for the financial year ended 1 April 2018". The Guardian. 24 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Guardian timeline". The Guardian. 10 June 2002. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  5. ^ "From the archive, 8 April 1933: The Manchester Guardian forbidden in Germany". The Guardian. 8 April 2015. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  6. ^ Lewis, James (14 February 2002). "John Perkin". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Observer timeline". The Guardian. 10 June 2002. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  8. ^ "The final hours of the Guardian at Farringdon Road". the Guardian. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  9. ^ Department, Guardian Research (9 June 2011). "12 September 2005: The launch of the Berliner Guardian". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  10. ^ McNay, Michael (3 July 2007). "Patrick Ensor". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Natalie Bennett". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Guardian Weekly". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Inside Guardian Weekly | News". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Security Check Required". Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Guardian Weekly (@guardianweekly) | Twitter". Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  16. ^ Jowit, Juliette; correspondent, political (3 September 2012). "Green party elects Natalie Bennett as leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Abby Deveney". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  18. ^ editor, Jim Waterson Media (3 October 2018). "Guardian Weekly to relaunch as glossy news magazine". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ Viner, Katharine (10 October 2018). "Introducing the new Guardian Weekly". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Put yourself on the Guardian Weekly map". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  21. ^ "About the Guardian Weekly". The Guardian Weekly. London. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  22. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (18 November 2006). "Bush reveals he is a Guardian reader (though sadly not a regular)". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 March 2017.

External links[edit]