For a newspaper that's small and underweight even by British standards, The Guardian has a knack for making some big noises, both in its home market and across the pond.

The paper (founded in 1821) was one of five news organizations to publish stories based on WikiLeaks' trove of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables in late 2010. The only American newspaper to publish the leaks, The New York Times, did so thanks to the generosity of The Guardian, which shared the documents.

Next, The Guardian's revelations about the extent of illegal phone tapping by journalists at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World in 2011 helped bring down the massively popular British tabloid and led to a wave of criminal prosecutions in Britain.