The Guardian is part of the Guardian Media Group plc which also publishes The Observer Sunday newspaper, the Manchester Evening News, and their sister website Guardian Unlimited, one of the most popular online news resources on the Internet.
It is sometimes known affectionately as the Grauniad because it was noted for typographical errors in the past, including mis-spelling its own name once in the 1970s. Although such errors are now less frequent than they used to be, the 'Corrections and clarifications' column can still often provide some amusement.
The term "Guardian reader" is often used pejoratively. The stereotype of a Guardian reader is a person with liberal politics, rooted in the 1960s, regularly eating lentils, wearing sandals and believing in alternative and natural medicine.
Originally called the Manchester Guardian, it was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen headed by John Edward Taylor. The first edition was published on May 5, 1821, and it became a daily paper in 1855.
In June 1936, to avoid death duty ownership of the paper was passed to the Scott Trust (named after the last owner - John Russell Scott, who was the first chairman of the Trust). The paper was then noted for its eccentric style, its moralising and its detached attitude to its finances.
In 1959 the paper dropped "Manchester" from its title, becoming simply The Guardian, and 1964 it moved to London, losing some of its regional agenda but heavily subsidized by sales of the Manchester Evening News. The financial position remained extremely poor into the 1970s; at one time it was in merger talks with The Times. The paper consolidated its left-wing stance during the 1970s and 1980s but was both shocked and revitalised by the launch of The Independent in 1986 which challenged for similar readers and provoked the entire broadsheet industry into a fight for circulation. In 1988 The Guardian had a significant redesign, as well as improving the quality of its print and cutting down on the typographical errors that had previously characterized it. The paper declined to participate in the broadsheet 'price war' started by Rupert Murdoch's The Times in 1993.