The Manchester Guardian was founded in the liberal interest to support reform in the early 19th century. The ethos of public service has been part of the DNA of the newspaper and Group ever since.
CP Scott, the famous Manchester Guardian editor, outlined the paper’s principles in his celebrated centenary leader on May 5, 1921.
The much-quoted article is still used to explain the values of the present-day newspaper, Trust and group. It is also recognised around the world as the ultimate statement of values for a free press.
Among the many well known lines are the assertions that ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’, that newspapers have ‘a moral as well as a material existence’ and that ‘the voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard’.
The essential qualities that Scott believed should form the character of a newspaper are reflected in the contemporary values of the Scott Trust and GMG.
The qualities he described are: honesty; cleanness (today interpreted as integrity); courage; fairness; and a sense of duty to the reader and the community.
Part of the Trust’s present-day role is to ensure that these values are upheld throughout Guardian Media Group.