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 The Times and Jewish Chronicle journalist Baron Daniel Finkelstein OBE. For more information on the database click here.
Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here
Daniel Finkelstein attended the independent University College School.
He earned degrees from both London School of Economics and City University London.
Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here
Daniel Finkelstein has extensive experience as a political advisor, parliamentary candidate and think-tank board member. He was also elevated to the House Of Lords as Baron Finkelstein in 2013.
Between 1995 and 1997 Daniel Finkelstein was the Director of the Conservative Research Department. He was an advisor to Prime Minister John Major as part of this role.
Between 1997 and 2001 Daniel Finkelstein was an advisor to Conservative Leader of the Opposition William Hague.
Daniel Finkelstein also served as a speech writer and advisor to George Osborne when Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was also an advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron. (source: Jones, Owen. The Establishment. Kindle Edition, p112-114.)
Think-Tank Board Member
Daniel Finkelstein founded the Tufton Street based Social Market Foundation think-tank in 1989. (source).
Finkelstein served as a Director and Chairman of Policy Exchange from 2011-2015. (source)
He was on the Board of Governors of the controversial far-right linked Gatestone Institute from 2014-2018. (source).
Since 2018 Finkelstein has been the Chairman of the Advisory Board of centre-right think -tank Onward. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein co-founded Enterprise Europe in 1990. There is little online information about this organisation. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein was originally a member of the Social Democratic Party, serving on the National Committee and standing as a candidate for the party in 1987. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein stood as a Conservative Party candidate in 2001. (source)
Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here
Daniel Finkelstein’s Grandfather, Dr Alfred Wiener, was Founder and Director of The Wiener Holocaust Library. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein’s brother is Anthony Finkelstein CBE. Anthony served as Chief Scientific Advisor For National Security for the UK Government from 2015-2021. He is also the President of City University London. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein’s sister is Tamara Finkelstein. She is currently the Permanent Secretary at DEFRA but has filled numerous senior civil service roles. (source)
Daniel Finkelstein is a Vice-President of the Jewish Leadership Council. (source)
Salary/Indications of Wealth
Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here
Daniel Finkelstein is a columnist at The Times and regular contributor to The Jewish Chronicle. He is Chairman of the think-tank Onward. No information is available on his annual salary.
As a point of reference, the Office for National Statistics list the average UK salary for 2021 as £26,193
Complaints / apologies / controversies
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In 2013 Peter Oborne, then chief political commentator for The Telegraph and associate editor of The Spectator, wrote an excoriating article exposing the close relationships Finkelstein had with then Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of The Exchequer George Osborne. Oborne vilified Finkelstein:
“As any newspaperman will recognise, Daniel Finkelstein has never in truth been a journalist at all. At the Times he was an ebullient and cheerful manifestation of what all of us can now recognise as a disastrous collaboration between Britain’s most powerful media empire and a morally bankrupt political class. He is, however, a powerful manifestation of the post-modern collapse of boundaries between politics and journalism.” (source)
Daniel Finkelstein is privately educated. He comes from an influential family with both his siblings holding positions of influence as Government advisors and in academia. Finkelstein himself has held powerful roles in politics, the media and in the influence industry of think-tanks, and he sits in the House of Lords. He has been publicly criticised by fellow journalists for his close relationship with powerful Conservative Party politicians.
Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?
Learn more about the Matrix Project here.
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