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 Laura Kuenssberg. For more information on the database click here.
Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here
Laura Kuenssberg attended private all-girls school Laurel Park School (source)
She studied at a non-Oxbridge university (Edinburgh)
Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here
Laura Kuenssberg has no significant professional experience in politics or business
Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here
Laura Kuenssberg’s paternal grandfather was Dr Ekkehard von Kuenssberg founder and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners (source)
Laura Kuenssberg’s maternal grandfather was Lord Robertson, a High Court judge (source)
Laura Kuenssberg’s father is influential businessman and director Nick Kuenssberg, OBE (source)
Laura Kuenssberg’s mother is influential public sector chairman Sally Kuenssberg, CBE (source)
Laura Kuenssberg’s sister is Joanna Kuenssberg, the High Commissioner of the UK to Mozambique (source)
Laura Kuenssberg’s great uncle was Sir James Wilson Robertson, the last colonial governor-general of Nigeria (source)
Salary/Indications of Wealth
Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here
Laura Kuenssberg earned an annual salary of £260,000-£264,999 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
Complaint Upheld (Coverage of Jeremy Corbyn) – Laura Kuenssberg was found to have broken the BBC’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines in a 2015 report on Jeremy Corbyn. The BBC Trust found that Kuenssberg “was wrong in this case to present an answer Mr Corbyn had given to a question about ‘shoot to kill’ as though it were his answer to a question he had not in fact been asked”
Apology (Misrepresentation of Labour Activist) – Laura Kuenssberg was forced to apologise during the 2019 election when she tweeted that a Labour activist had punched a Tory adviser. Kuenssberg took considerable flak for taking the word of unnamed Tory sources and uncritically spreading the claims during an election campaign.
Laura Kuenssberg comes from a wealthy family that is about as establishment as it gets (including links to British colonialism), was privately educated, earns 10 times the salary of the average Briton and there is objective evidence (apology and upheld complaint) of bias against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?
Learn more about the Matrix Project here.
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