A long article, which in English is called «long form», to apologize. An article enriched with old photographs, maps, portraits, edited with the attention that is usually dedicated to great works, investigations, reportages. And in fact, it was a two-year investigation with an eloquent title: “How we discovered the ties of the founders of the Guardian with slavery.” The The Guardianthe most important English newspaper, publishes the evidence that John Edward Taylorjournalist and cotton merchant who founded the newspaper in 1821, “and at least nine of its eleven financiers, they adopted slave practices mainly through the textile industry».
In the survey signed by the researcher Cassandra Gooptarwith the help of colleagues from the University of Nottingham and the Study of Slavery department at the University of Hull, are found all steps of the independent research started in 2020after the protests of the movement Black lives matter – born in America and arrived as far as England – which led to the confirmation of the newspaper’s past.
It reads: “Taylor had multiple connections through partnerships in the manufacturing firm Oakden & Taylor and the cotton merchant Shuttleworth, Taylor & Co, which imported large quantities of raw cotton produced by slaves in the Americas.” After analyzing an old bill book, the researchers were able to identify relationships between John Edward Taylor and the South Carolina and Georgia plantations.
Also in the article, we read the apologies of the company that controls the The Guardianthe Scott Trust, who took the opportunity to announce a £10 million program dedicated specifically to the descendants of affected communities from the activities of Taylor and the other Manchester merchants who helped start the newspaper.
Director Katharine Vinerthe first woman to direct the newspaper, in a long editorial where she explains where the idea of the research came from and what they thought of doing as editorial staff to fight all forms of contemporary racism on the front line, concludes thus: «As we enter in the third century as a newspaper, this terrible story must strengthen our resolve to use our journalism to expose racism, injustice and inequality and to hold the powerful to account; use lucidity and imagination, to instill hope”.