March 5, 2015 Last Updated 11:11 am

Editor of Guardian US, Katharine Viner, receives most votes from staff to succeed Alan Rusbridger

The Guardian today announced that the staff of the Guardian and Observer had voted for the editor of Guardian US, Katharine Viner, to replace Alan Rusbridger, who announced late last year that he woould step down as editor this summer.

Viner-featureIn a vote that is hard to imagine taking place at most media companies, Viner received 438 votes. Emily Bell, who is a former Guardian editor and now director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, received 188 votes. Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of received 175 votes.

The final decision will be made by the Scott Trust, the owner of the Guardian Media Group, and the winner of the vote is not guaranteed to get the job, just added to the short list of candidates. But the vote puts the Trust in a difficult position should the journalist getting the most votes is not being seriously considered for the job.

While the practice of voting for, and publicly revealing the count, is rare for most media properties, it is not unheard of. Le Monde, the French daily, last year announced that the staff had voted Natalie Nougayrède to be editorial director. In the case of Le Monde, the candidate was nominated by the paper’s owners, and needed to receive at least 60 per cent of the vote from the newspaper’s 450 journalists (which she obviously did).

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