Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, spoke to BBC Radio 4's Media Show about the paper's recent decision to face the future with a "digital-first" strategy. He confirmed what most commentators already suspected, namely that the new strategy would result in "significant" job cuts.
According to Rusbridger, The Guardian's declining revenues and print readership are in line with the developments in the industry in general. He described the new strategy as a response to a "pre-crisis moment", a change of course before the newspaper is forced to make vicious editorial cuts, resulting in a lower-quality paper: "You don't want to get into that spiral of decline that we've seen with a lot of American newspapers."
As part of the strategy involves moving mobile and multimedia journalism to a more prominent place, the paper is preparing to hire more developers and other staff with expertise in digital news.
As for the resulting editorial changes, Rusbridger acknowledged that the paper couldn't employ as many people in the future as it does now. "We will need to lose significant numbers but we don't need to do it by tomorrow. We can do it over the next couple of years and we can have a civilised conversation about that." Including its sister publication The Observer, The Guardian currently employs 630 journalists.