I won’t comment on his and the Guardian’s involvement with Wikileaks and Edward Snowden because I am not interested in politics.
What I do appreciate is good writing and good journalism, which is not only about politics but about life itself: culture, society and trends of the day. The Guardian has provided both in spades — good writing and good journalism.
The Guardian has been home to good writing from since its Manchester days, when Neville Cardus was its cricket correspondent and music critic. The tradition continued under Rusbridger, who became the editor of the paper, succeeding Peter Preston, in 1995.
Rusbridger edited the paper for 20 years and transformed it. Its unrivalled coverage of Wikileaks and Eric Snowden has elevated it to the ranks of the New York Times and the Washington Post as a leader in investigative journalism.
Rusbridger and Harold Evans, they are the editors I will remember. I first saw the Sunday Times when Evans was its editor. He went on to edit The Times for a year or so. I enjoyed reading Evans’s memoirs and the books he wrote on reporting, sub-editing, headline writing and newspaper design. He was a complete journalist.
I don’t know if Rusbridger is as versatile as Evans, but he is a visionary who understands technology and cares for the environment. I remember reading an article he wrote in 2006 about owning and driving an electric car. The picture of him sitting and smiling in that blue car was reproduced in his farewell to his readers.
I am grateful I can read the Guardian for free. Rusbridger was committed to keeping it free.
Thank you, Rusbridger. And may the Guardian continue to be free and good under Katharine Viner, the new editor-in-chief. A woman heads the Guardian for the first time in its 190-year history. A woman is in charge of the Economist, too. Zanny Minton Beddoes succeeded John Micklethwait as editor-in-chief earlier this year.