Guardian launches US-facing website

The Guardian has launched its US-facing website, Guardian America.

The site is edited by Michael Tomasky, a former journalist with the liberal US political magazine the American Prospect.

The site was launched this afternoon in time for the start of the day on the eastern seaboard of North America, leading with an exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton, conducted by Tomasky, in which she criticises President Bush for applying the same ‘broad brush’approach to a range of different terrorist groups and reveals that she would move toward relinquishing some of the executive power that Bush and Cheney have amassed if she becomes President.

Tomasky said: “The Guardian’s already-huge US audience shows that they must be doing something right. What we’ll try to do is to bring those American readers the best and most relevant of what London produces every day and combine it with political and cultural coverage of the states that is more geared toward a US audience’s interests but staying faithful to the Guardian sensibility.”

The site will have eight editorial members of staff in Washington, including three existing Guardian members of staff. Deputy editor (comment) Richard Adams, subeditor Saptarshi Ray and acting deputy editor (news) Simon Jeffery have joined the site from the Guardian or Guardian Unlimted. Joining them will be new commissioning editor Alexander Belenky, a production editor and two reporters who will cover US politics:

  • Senior editor Megan Mulligan joins the Guardian from The Hill, a specialist newspaper covering the US Congress. She previously worked at Forbes and the Washington Post.
  • Elana Schor was also recruited from The Hill and will cover Congress.
  • Daniel Nasaw joins the Guardian to cover the 2008 preseidental election. He previously worked at the Wall Street Journal.

In addition, the US-facing site will have regular freelances covering arts, culture, social issues and sport.

The Guardian will complement video news feeds with audio and video footage created by its own in-house team.

Emily Bell, Guardian News and Media’s director of digital content, said: ‘At a time when many media organisations are cutting back, we are making a significant investment in our journalism, creating a new type of multimedia content which showcases the best Guardian journalism and storytelling in all its forms. We hope to make the most of this offering during the American primaries and beyond.”

Guardian America will add a variety of user services tailored to the US market, including holidays, dating services and, eventually, recruitment advertising.

The Guardian’s stated strategic aim has been to become the ‘world’s leading liberal voice”.

According to Nielsen/Netratings, Guardian Unlimited had 4.13 million unique users in the United States in July, making it the seventh-largest online newspaper in the country at the time. In its most recent ABCe audit Guardian Unlimited reported 15.82m unique users in August, 63 per cent of which are from outside the UK.

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