Is The Guardian of all publications leading the way to making a global presence from its news gathering operations? Its US-based operations broke the story of the US National Security Agency’s Prism snooping operation. This has been a big story in the USA as well as over here. And The Guardian is being referenced as the source.
US papers are either metropolitan, like The New York Times, or dreary, like the newspapers in most other US cities.
And few have a liberal voice. The Guardian’s web site, hosted in the UK, gets lots of US hits because of this lack of a liberal voice. But breaking a story at the heart of US politics and the role of the government is another matter.
Some have called the Prism story as big as Watergate or the Pentagon Papers. It is not as large as Watergate which brought down President Nixon. But it is as large as the Pentagon Papers, certainly.
Can The Guardian trade on the back of this story and make itself into a brand to equal The Economist or The Financial Times? I doubt it.
All this comes at a cost: the price of staffing the US news gathering operation. The Guardian gets no cash from US media quoting it as the source of the Prism story. In that sense, content is free.
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