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The newspaper has long sought to present itself - to readers and advertisers alike - as Britain’s foremost ‘anti-establishment’ outlet, and took a leading role in reporting on the mass WikiLeaks cable dump in 2010, and the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, garnering widespread praise and several prestigious journalism awards in the process.
In the latter case, the The Guardian’s dissident credentials were greatly enhanced when in July that year the UK government ordered its then-Editor Alan Rusbridger to destroy hard drives containing the numerous internal NSA and GCHQ files released by Snowden, and GCHQ agents duly visited the the newspaper’s offices to oversee the destruction. Videos of the carnage - conducted via angle-grinder - set to ominous music and interspersed with footage of Rusbridger condemning the censorship were shared widely online.
Files - Kennard - Episodes - Fact - Beginning
However, the files shared by Kennard indicate these high-profile episodes in fact respectively represented the beginning of the end, and indeed the end, of The Guardian as an even vaguely dissenting media outlet.
Deputy Editor Paul Johnson becoming a member of Whitehall’s Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice (or D-Notice) committee - which decides what national security issues can be reported on, and how - has been fundamental to this process.
Minutes - December - Committee - Meeting - Documents
The minutes of a 15th December 2018 committee meeting documents that the body’s chair “thanked” Johnson “for his service to the committee”, as he’d been “instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian”.
The precise date of Johnson’s joining is unclear, but another minutes file lists him as being present at an 8th May 2014 committee meeting.
Engagement - DPBAC - Defence - Press - Broadcasting
“The engagement of DPBAC [Defence Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee] Secretariat with The Guardian has continued to strengthen during the last six months, with regular dialogues between the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries and Guardian journalists. Also, because of an agreement between The Guardian and allied publications overseas...
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