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 new BBC political editor (as of May 2022) Chris Mason. For more information on the database click here.
Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here
Chris Mason was educated at a state grammar school then studied Geography at Cambridge University (source)
Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here
Chris Mason has no significant experience working in rival fields to the media
Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here
The Times report that Mason and his Brexitcast colleague, Adam Fleming, have been friends for 20 years and, indeed, describe them as “best friends”. “They first met at a gathering at No 10 in 2000, when they were journalists on their respective student newspapers”. No ordinary student newspapers, though – “Fleming studied at Oxford, while Mason went to Cambridge.”
Salary/Indications of Wealth
Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here
As BBC political editor, Chris Mason will earn a salary of around £260,000 per year (source)
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
Somewhat unusually, for a highly-paid BBC presenter, we could not find any significant complaints, apologies or controversies involving Chris Mason.
In Their Own Words
‘I think there could be a far broader range of voices than we hear on the national media. When have you ever heard on a news programme somebody with a West Country accent? I can’t think of a single person, and that’s mad. How many people with a Brummie accent? Or a Geordie accent? There’s hardly any. It’s absolutely absurd. We’re broadcasting to a country with this incredibly rich diversity of voices and accents, and we hardly hear any of them broadcasting on the national airwaves.’Chris Mason
Chris Mason attended Cambridge University and has been described as the “best friend” of fellow high-profile BBC presenter Adam Fleming. As BBC political editor he will earn 10 times the average UK salary.
Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?
Learn more about the Matrix Project here.
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