Cathy Newman – The Matrix Database

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 Channel 4 News journalist Cathy Newman. For more information on the database click here.

Cathy Newman, posing with the rest of the “parliamentary quartet” she supposedly holds to account in her day job


Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Cathy Newman attended a private, fee-paying girls’ school in Guildford, Surrey then the elite, fee-paying Charterhouse School (source)

She gained a first in English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (source)

Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here

Cathy Newman has no significant professional experience in politics or business

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here


Cathy Newman is married to John O’Connell, an author, former Literary Editor at Time Out and freelance contributor to The Times and The Guardian (source)


Newman who, in her own words, passionately “holds power to account”, spoke in the Times about playing in “a parliamentary quartet: the former Labour councillor Emily Benn on first violin, the Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire on cello, the parliamentary researcher Katherine Chibah on viola and Newman as second violin. “We’re called the Statutory Instruments.””

She had an “online musical battle with Alastair Campbell on his bagpipes over who played classic ballads better” during the Coronavirus lockdown

Salary/Indications of Wealth

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

Cathy Newman has spoken out about gender pay disparity on other broadcasters, but stated “I’m very fortunate to be fairly paid” (source). Given that she is an anchor on Channel 4 News, said to pay lead anchor John Snow an annual salary in the region of £1 million (source 1) (source 2), it can be assumed that Cathy Newman earns a six-figure 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

Newman’s 2018 interview with Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson generated significant controversy and led to security experts being called in by Channel 4 to investigate abuse Newman suffered as a result (source)


“We have a remit to speak up for people who don’t have a voice, and that does mean that we are going to be quite passionate in our attempts to hold power to account.”


“Educational background is still less than representative of the country as a whole, though, with more than a quarter of MPs educated at independent schools.”

CATHY NEWMAN, Educated at fee-paying schools then oxford, complains that parliamentarians aren’t representative enough of ordinary people

“No MP could ever argue this, but I think the argument can be made that in order to get the very best MPs, you probably need to pay them more. That’s controversial.”

CATHY NEWMAN, Sticking it to power once again


Cathy Newman claims to speak for the voiceless and hold power to account, but attended fee-paying schools then Oxford, is married to a fellow author/journalist, plays in a “parliamentary quartet” with politicians she is meant to hold to account, and believes MPs’ £85,000 salary isn’t enough (it almost certainly isn’t as much as hers)

Independent? Impartial? Holding power to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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