Evan Davis – The Matrix Database

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Evan Davis: BBC presenter who cut his teeth working for a right-wing think-tank on the Poll Tax

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 BBC journalist Evan Davis. For more information on the database click here.

Education

Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Evan Davis attended state/grammar schools

He studied philosophy, politics and economics at St John’s College, Oxford from 1981 to 1984 (source)

Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here

Evan Davis began his career in the field of economics. He worked as “an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a Right-wing think tank where he worked developing proposals for the Poll Tax” (source)

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here

Primary

None

Secondary

The Guardian report that Davis’s Oxford contemporaries included Lib Dem MP Matthew Taylor and Labour peer Andrew Adonis

Salary/Indications of Wealth

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

Evan Davis earned an annual salary of £270,000-£274,999 in 2020/21 (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

French Election Complaint Upheld – The BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit upheld a complaint against Evan Davis for an episode of Newsnight found to have “bias in its coverage of the French presidential election, giving the impression that the host Evan Davis favoured Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen” (source)

Summary

Evan Davis attended Oxford University, worked for a right-wing think-tank on Thatcher’s highly controversial poll tax and and earns 10 times the salary of the average Briton.

Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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