Sometimes you learn more from the outside than you do on the inside…
• The New Yorker: Freedom of Information
Jeff Jarvis, an Internet evangelist who teaches journalism at the City University of New York and who advises Rusbridger, says that eventually the Guardian will have to generate more revenue from its digital edition, abandon its print newspaper, or reduce the number of days it publishes. “Every day they wait is dollars gone,” he said. As for printing only on certain days, he says, “Die Zeit, in Germany, is a good model. One day a week in print and the rest digital.”
Rusbridger can envisage a paperless Guardian in five to ten years. He also “can imagine,” he says, printing on only certain days. For the moment, with digital dollars composing only a quarter of the company’s revenues, “if you want to support the kind of journalism we do, you can’t kiss goodbye seventy-five per cent of your revenues,” he said. “But all that will change.”
Rusbridger referred to the room where the Guardian kept Snowden’s documents as “the bunker.” The door was kept locked, and a guard was stationed outside twenty-four hours a day. Before entering, the handful of people allowed admittance were required to put their smartphones and any other personal electronic devices on a nearby table, in case British or American intelligence agencies were to remotely transform them into recording devices. White blinds covered floor-to-ceiling windows. There were whiteboards, and on five white Formica tables sat five new laptops, unconnected to the Internet or to any other network. The trove of documents from Snowden were kept on these computers, in encrypted file containers. Accessing each container required three passwords, and no individual knew more than one.