News & events

The Guardian celebrates 200 extraordinary years

The news brand is marking its 200th birthday with a series of articles, a festival of online events and a new brand campaign.

The Guardian celebrates its 200th birthday in May 2021 with a digital festival of live events and masterclasses, journalism spanning digital and print formats, and a new brand campaign under the banner “200 years a work in progress” to inspire readers to support its ongoing investment into world-class journalism.

The first edition of the Manchester Guardian, as it was then known, was published on 5 May 1821. Since then, the Guardian has earned a reputation for powerful, high-impact journalism read by millions worldwide.

To mark the moment, from Wednesday 5 May, the Guardian will publish a range of journalism in digital, print, video and audio formats, examining the paper’s origins, its highs and lows, and how its exclusives and investigations changed the world.

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media, said: “Since the first edition of the Manchester Guardian was published in 1821, the Guardian’s mission has been to seek out truth and use clarity and imagination to build hope. 200 years is a long time for any organisation to last, but thanks to the support and trust of Guardian readers we now have greater impact and are read around the world like never before.

“We are looking forward to celebrating this moment with Guardian readers and supporters - bringing them special journalism and events which look back at our history, and forward to the future."

Digital festival of live events

The Guardian will be running a digital festival of live events to celebrate its 200th birthday. Highlights include:

  • The Guardian at 200: Made in Manchester (11 May), a free event exploring the Guardian’s Manchester roots with Guardian columnist John Harris and editor-in-chief Katharine Viner in conversation with some of the city’s most influential voices including Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham; great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline and granddaughter of Sylvia, Helen Pankhurst; CEO of Manchester Pride, Mark Fletcher; lead singer of The Charlatans, Tim Burgess.
  • Ghetts and Misan Harriman (7 June): The grime MC will join the photographer and activist to explore art as a form of social commentary.  
  • Gordon Brown and Jonathan Freedland (9 June): The former prime minister discusses the path to recovery after the pandemic and to a fairer, more equal society. 

Partnerships with cultural institutions

The Guardian is also partnering with other cultural institutions, including:

  • The Photographers’ Gallery, to present an exhibition on the legendary Guardian picture library (25 Jun - 26 Sept 2021), featuring over 300 images drawn from Guardian News & Media’s archives, and exploring photojournalism across the 20th century including rarely seen working press prints, contact sheets and editing notes.
  • University of Manchester’s John Rylands Research Institute and Library (which holds the Manchester Guardian archives) will be holding a special exhibition and events with Manchester academics, Guardian writers, and experts on the Guardian’s history (virtual exhibition opens 5 May, in person exhibition dates to be announced). 
  • Manchester International Festival, where the Guardian will co-host a keynote lecture from an exceptional artist (dates and details to be announced).

‘A work in progress since 1821’

To highlight its legacy of bringing facts to light and championing progressive ideas, The Guardian is launching a special 200th birthday brand campaign based around the central idea ‘A work in progress since 1821’.

The campaign highlights The Guardian's unique role and voice in the world, with a focus on its independent ownership, reputation for holding the powerful to account and commitment to hopeful ideas and imaginative solutions throughout its 200-year history. Campaign activity will celebrate the evolution of The Guardian’s iconic typography and its longstanding challenger voice.

The campaign will come to life through 230 innovative outdoor placements across London and Manchester, including a banner at Manchester Piccadilly, which will be treated with a pollution absorbing coating Pureti, and a series of special-build ‘work in progress’ billboards.

Source: The Guardian


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