Andrew Rawnsley – The Matrix Database

Does Andrew Rawnsley, privately-schooled and Cambridge-educated, fit the mould of an establishment-approved “liberal” journalist?

The Matrix Project is an effort to document personal factors that undermine powerful journalists’ claims of objectivity and impartiality. Are factors such as an elite education, establishment connections, personal wealth and interests in rival fields compatible with journalistic integrity? 

This page looks at Observer journalist and editor Andrew Rawnsley. For more information on the database click here.


Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Andrew Rawnsley attended the private Rugby School on a scholarship

Andrew Rawnsley studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.


Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here

Andrew Rawnsley and his wife Jane are the only shareholders for a company listed on Companies House called Red Socks Media (Source)

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here





Salary/Indications of Wealth

Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here

Neither Andrew Rawnsley or The Observer have disclosed any salary information. As chief political commentator at The Observer, as well as the author of two best-selling books, it is likely Andrew Rawnsley earns significantly more than the UK average salary.

As a point of reference, the Office for National Statistics list the average UK salary for 2021 as £26,193 .

Complaints / apologies / controversies

Learn about the significance of complaints/apologies here

Media Lens have been highly critical of Andrew Rawnsley, in particular for his defence of Tony Blair’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq:

This is the role of the establishment media – to vindicate the crimes of the powerful, to whitewash the bloodbath…History may have been rewritten more crudely under Stalin, but the essence of what has been done to the truth by these journalists is the same. The consequences for people in the Third World are very real, as we have once again seen.


Media Lens also noted Rawnsley’s sneering contribution to mass media vilification of Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters:

In the Observer, Andrew Rawnsley mocked the ‘fantasy’ of ‘Corbynmania’ directed by ‘the Pied Piper of Islington’ suffering from his ‘terrible delusion’. Rawnsley, yet another passionate Blairite, mocked opponents of the Great Man as deluded ‘neoliberal finance capital conspiracy’ theorists.”



Andrew Rawnsley is a privately educated journalist and successful author who is likely to earn significantly more than the average UK salary. He attended Cambridge University and has been criticised for defending establishment interests.

Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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