The Guardian, known until 1959 as The Manchester Guardian (founded 1821), is a British national daily newspaper. Currently edited by Alan Rusbridger, it has grown from a 19th-century local paper to a national paper associated with a complex organisational structure and international multimedia and web presence. Its sister papers include The Observer (British Sunday paper) and The Guardian Weekly.
The Guardian in paper form had a certified average daily circulation of 204,222, behind The Daily Telegraph and The Times, but ahead of The Independent. The newspaper's online offering is the second most popular British newspaper website, behind the Daily Mail's Mail Online.
Founded in 1821 by John Edward Taylor in Manchester, the 11 members of the first Little Circle excluding William Cowdroy, Jnr. of the Manchester Gazette decided to advance their liberalist agenda. They helped then cotton merchant John Edward Taylor form the Manchester Guardian, which he edited for the rest of his life and they all wrote for. With backing from the non-conformist Little Circle group of local businessmen, The Manchester Guardian replaced the radical Manchester Observer, which championed the Peterloo Massacre protesters. The paper currently identifies with social liberalism. In the last UK general election in 2010, the paper supported the Liberal Democrats, who went on to form a coalition government with the Conservatives. The paper is influential in the design and publishing arena, sponsoring many awards in these areas.