18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.GDNGuardian News and Media Limitedcentralnic.comView

Guardian News and Media (GNM) has chosen to apply for the TLD to provide an accessible, safe, secure, and globally recognized service for high quality, open journalism that simultaneously promotes awareness of GNM services and products and facilitates the digital growth and geographic expansion of the brands under the Guardian News and Media umbrella. The TLDwill control and protect Guardian News and Media’s brands and services by providing an official digital hub for readers, information-seekers, and investors worldwide as well as fostering consumer trust by creating a secure, reliable, resilient, and technically stable zone that is as renowned for its excellence as are the brands within the GNM aegis. GNM’s highly distinctive, open approach to publishing on the web is part of its digital-first strategy, and the choice to apply for the TLD falls squarely within Guardian News and Media’s reputation for innovation, excellence, independence, and longevity while echoing its firm commitment to the primacy of digital technology to the future of journalism and publishing. The global deployment of the TLD in parallel with the digital expansion of GNM’s brands will therefore contribute to ICANNʹs commitment to innovation, consumer protection, security, and stability.

Founded in 1821 in Manchester UK, the Guardian has been known by the name “the Guardian” since 1959. The term “Guardian” is associated with a vast array of products and services related to the Guardian (the newspaper which inspired the establishment of Guardian News and Media), and they include but are not limited to: physical daily (the Guardian) and weekly (Guardian Weekly) newspapers; weekly supplements (G2); news websites and web content (www.guardian.co.uk); social media accounts and pages (on Twitter, Facebook, etc.); online products and services (Guardian Jobs, Guardian Soulmates, etc.); and film and production (Guardian Films). As a result, millions of internet users and consumers worldwide associate the term “Guardian” with Guardian News and Media products, and this number is only projected to increase with the forecast expansion of the Guardian brand. The Guardian holds Trademarks on the term “Guardian” in 9 jurisdictions worldwide, ensuring not only the protection of the brand but also its public recognition.

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, with an office in New York, Guardian News and Media is wholly owned by the Scott Trust, which exists to protect the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian Media Group companies. The Groupʹs portfolio of investments, which help fund its journalism and secure its long term future, ensure that the Guardian and Observer are able to continue delivering their unique brand of independent liberal journalism to a global audience. Although the media sector as a whole currently faces major challenges - of which the greatest is the ongoing transition form traditional to digital media - Guardian News and Media successfully developed and implemented new business models and strategies throughout the past twelve months, allowing the Guardian and Observer to focus on producing outstanding journalism. The culmination of this commitment to journalistic excellence occurred when the Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year at the 2011 British Press Awards.

Guardian News and Media was an early adopter of digital media as a means of disseminating news and current events, and it is a pioneer in open APIs, interactive news technologies, and data journalism. Guardian News and Mediaʹs commitment to digital innovation has seeped into every facet of the Groupʹs internet presence and placed it at the forefront of digital journalism. For example, ʺHack Daysʺ brought together journalists and developers for the first time to create new ways of communicating, and experimentation with new digital ideas resulted in the best concepts being tried and tested by the Guardian at the iconic South by Southwest festival in Texas. GNM’s innovative approach to digital media ensures that it punches well above its weight not only in terms of web reporting but also in its use of Twitter, blogging, social media, and liveblogging (which was used to cover such diverse stories as the Arab Spring and UK Arts Council cuts).

The Guardian has an established reputation in the online community for innovation and creativity and was one of the first non-US organizations to win a Webby (2005). By 2010, The Guardian had the largest web readership of any English-language newspaper bar The New York Times. The strong performance of the Guardianʹs flagship website, www.guardian.co.uk, reflects the high standard of the newspaperʹs journalism and its increasingly significant digital profile (with a daily average of 2.7 million unique browsers). Recent success in launching the Guardianʹs iPhone app indicates that Guardian News and Media’s digital strategy is on track, and the Group is planning further digital launches - including a major expansion in the United States with a new, digital-only operation based in New York.

In addition to its commitment to digital technology and journalistic excellence and integrity, Guardian News and Media takes its mission of corporate social responsibility very seriously. The Group is considered a leader in sustainability and has developed a program in partnership with Forum for the Future, a sustainable development organization, to investigate ten key areas of change. Sustainability has been reinforced across every organization within the Group - including Carbon Trust certification for the two print sites and main office. The shift toward digital publication will further diminish the Groupʹs carbon footprint, but in a groundbreaking move the Group has gone one step further, partnering with the universities of Bristol and Surrey to understand and reduce its digital footprint.

The TLD will provide a digital home for information about all the previously-mentioned services as well as facilitate the future expansion of GNMʹs web presence while contributing to its environmental commitments. The TLD will make the Guardian digital platform more easily accessible, searchable, and locatable and will help GNM enlarge the community of contributors by promoting and enabling user interaction. The launch of the TLD falls squarely within GNMʹs mission of empowerment, innovation and engagement and will allow GNM to achieve its goals of digital innovation, outreach, and growth while reinforcing its credibility and reputation for uncompromised excellence.

GNM has selected the string .gdn as it is a short, instantly recognizable abbreviation for the term “guardian” over which Guardian News and Media holds Trademark rights. GNM increasingly employs the use of “gdn” in its digital media presence and seeks to expand the gdn brand under the GNM umbrella as its digital representative and voice. GNM has successfully employed and leveraged the gdn brand digitally and especially on Twitter, where it currently operates multiple handles including @gdnlaw, @gdnvoluntary, @GdnMediaNetwork, @gdnseminars, @GdnLocalGov, and @GdnHealthcare. The gdn brand is thus intrinsically related to and associated with GNM and its product and service offerings.

GNM will retain domains for internal Group use, providing an innovative platform for the GNMʹs various brands as they expand globally. The TLD will allow GNM to prepare for the future of the digital landscape, and its use will include but is not limited to websites, emails, online applications, online transactions, social media, directories and any new usages of domain names. This platform for innovation will not only promote and protect the GNMʹs brands but also ensure the effective organization of the Group’s domain name structure, technical security, and stability of its internet presence, promoting continued innovation to an increasing consumer base without compromise.

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