03/28/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The 'Guardian' Smacks (in Its Way) the 'Times' and Murdoch

Practically from the beginning of Internet time, the Guardian in London has been, among newspapers, the most aggressive and innovative adapter of the new medium. This is partly because it saw the possibility of playing on a much bigger stage than simply the UK--and, indeed, it has transformed itself, via the Internet, from a provincial, left-oriented paper into an international news brand.

Then, too, because of its unique structure--it's backed by a trust whose other businesses are devoted to supporting the Guardian's journalism--it seemed much more willing to experiment with the new medium. It saw early on that this was as much about journalism--and how the practice would change--as it was about business or technology.

Yesterday, Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian's editor, weighed in with a considered response to the Murdoch-led and New York Times to-follow paywall initiatives. Rusbridger's point was twofold:

The Guardian stands to benefit, hugely so, from any move on the part of the Times to close itself behind a paywall--becoming the default online left-leaning quality paper.

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