Lewis Goodall – The Matrix Database

Lewis Goodall, former think-tank researcher turned Newsnight editor.

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 reporter and policy editor for BBC Newsnight Lewis Goodall. For more information on the database click here.

Education

Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Lewis Goodall attended state schools before graduating with a degree in History and Politics from St John’s College, Oxford. (Source).

Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here.

Lewis Goodall worked as a researcher at the influential New Labour tendency think-tank Institute For Public Policy Research (Source).

He also briefly served as an intern to US Democrat Congresswoman Diana DeGette (Source).

Goodall has been described as a “Labour Party activist” whilst at university (Source)

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here

Primary

None.

Secondary

In the acknowledgments to his book “Left For Dead: The Strange Death and Rebirth of The Labour Party”, Goodall thanks Marc Kidson and James Stafford, “two brilliant minds, who over the years since our Oxford days have helped shape my thinking on so many things” (source)

Marc Kidson is a principal consultant at corporate strategy and lobby firm PA Consulting. He has previously served as a director at NSW Department of Education and as a researcher at the Institute for Government. (source)

James Stafford is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Oxford. He is a co-editor of the academic journal Renewal, and as a journalist he has had articles published in The Guardian and LabourList. He is a former parliamentary assistant to former Labour MP Gregg McClymont (source)

Goodall also thanks his “best friend in TV” Zach Brown, a former Newsnight and Sky News producer who is now a political video editor for the Washington Post. (source)

Salary/Indications of Wealth

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

Neither Lewis Goodall nor the BBC have disclosed how much he is paid, but as a published author, reporter and editor for BBC Newsnight, it is likely to be much higher than the UK national average.

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

In 2020 The Telegraph reported highly critical comments made about Goodall by former No.10 adviser Sir Robbie Gibb. His public complaint was provoked by an article Goodall had penned for The New Statesman in which he attacked the government’s handling of the A-level exam crisis, and insinuated that Dominic Cummings was involved in said crisis. Gibb, whose brother Nick Gibb happened to be Schools Minister at the time, declared “Is there anyone more damaging to the BBC’s reputation for impartiality than Lewis Goodall? This is so off the scale I don’t even know where to begin”. (Source)

Summary

After graduating from Oxford University, Lewis Goodall worked for an influential political think-tank before becoming a journalist. A published author and reporter, he is likely to earn significantly more than the UK average. He has close personal ties to other individuals involved in influencing the political and corporate landscape of the UK.

Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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