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The Guardian launches its Australian digital edition

guardian australia logoThe Guardian has this morning launched its Australian digital edition by promising readers a fresh perspective on Australian and world news.

Editor-in-chief of the Australian edition, the paper’s third international digital edition, Katharine Viner said the UK newspaper was eager to capitalise on its existing online Australian audience.

“We already have a large and loyal Australian readership, who tell us they want more of what we do,” said Viner.

The Guardian“Our research indicates that Australians are looking for an alternative that is truly independent, both global and local, which offers serious reporting and lively commentary, and is all-embracing in its use of everything that the digital sphere has to offer.”

The most recent numbers from Nielsen shows that the UK newspaper had an Australian audience of 1.1 million readers putting it just outside the top 10 Australian news websites.

In preparation for its launch the newspaper has hired a number of senior Australian journalists including author and commentator David Marr and poaching Lenore Taylor and Katherine Murphy from Fairfax. Earlier this month it also announced the appointment of a number of other Australian editorial staff, including blogger Greg Jericho.

“Starting today, we’ll be reporting and blogging, providing commentary, debate and community interaction, and using cutting edge data visualisation and interactive technology to engage our readers in new ways,” said Viner. ” We have built a strong Australian team including award-winning journalists David Marr, Lenore Taylor and Katharine Murphy.”

GuardianFor the launch the newspaper has built a interactive feature telling the story of the Holmes family who captured the world’s media attention in January after clinging to a jetty during the bushfires in Tasmania.

Lenore Taylor has also interviewed Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who reveals she is a secret fan of Games of Thrones.

The website also includes an Australian version of its successful opinion and commentary website Comment is Free which launches with pieces from Robert Manne, John Pilger and Thomas Keneally.

Nic Christensen

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