Stephanie Flanders

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Stephanie Flanders
Stephanie Flanders - Chatham House 2011.jpg
Flanders chairing a debate at Chatham House in 2011
Born (1968-08-05) 5 August 1968 (age 46)
Education Balliol College, Oxford
Harvard University
Occupation Chief Market Strategist, presenter
Partner(s) John Arlidge
Children 2
Parents Michael Flanders and Claudia Cockburn

Stephanie Hope Flanders (born 5 August 1968)[1] is a British former broadcast journalist who was the BBC economics editor for five years.[2] In November 2013 she left the BBC for a role as J.P. Morgan Asset Management's chief market strategist for the UK and Europe.[3] She is the daughter of British actor and comic singer Michael Flanders and Claudia Cockburn.

Early life[edit]

Flanders' father, Michael Flanders, died in 1975 when she was six years old. She went to the independent St Paul's Girls' School and was a student at Balliol College, Oxford, where she obtained a first class degree[4] in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.[5] She then attended Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar.

Early career[edit]

Flanders began her career as an economist at the London Business School and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She then became a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times from 1994.[6] She became a speechwriter and advisor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers in 1997, and joined the New York Times in 2001.[7]

Newsnight[edit]

Flanders joined the BBC's Newsnight in 2002. A keen cyclist, in 2005 she presented a review of Britain's economic status for Panorama from her bicycle, travelling the length of the country. She also contributed (with reference to her father's song "A Transport Of Delight") to the BBC News coverage of the last of Routemaster buses. In 2006 and 2007 she presented some relief shifts for BBC News between 2pm and 5pm. She has anchored editions of Newsnight with an economic focus.

On a Newsnight programme in August 2007, Flanders interrogated Conservative Party leader David Cameron about his proposed policy of tax breaks for married couples while questioning him with other journalists, asking him whether he had ever met anyone who would get married for an extra £20 per week. As an unmarried mother, she also asked Mr. Cameron whether the Conservative Party would like her to be married.[8] Her contribution was criticised by Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn on 31 August 2007, where he made references to her "privileged" educational background and later wrote that "If Stephanie Flanders speaks for Britain, then I'm a gnu" (in reference to The Gnu - a song sung by her father and his stage partner Donald Swann).

BBC economics editor[edit]

Flanders (right) in January 2013

In February 2008 it was announced that she would replace Evan Davis as BBC economics editor, since he was moving to present Radio 4's Today programme. She took up this position on 17 March,[9] although from June of that year until January 2009, deputy economics editor Hugh Pym temporarily replaced her as the main economics editor whilst she was on maternity leave.

She presented a programme called "Stephanomics" on BBC Radio Four during July 2012. This programme asked questions about the world's economy, such as whether China or the United States would be the more important economic power. Another series of this programme began to be broadcast on Radio Four in April 2013. In 2012, Flanders presented Masters of Money, a BBC Two documentary series exploring the lives of Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and Friedrich Hayek.[10] In August 2012 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith made a formal complaint to the BBC claiming that there was a pro-Labour bias in her coverage of unemployment figures. The BBC stated in response that they were satisfied that their coverage was impartial.[11]

Aside from her work as economic editor, Flanders presented The Andrew Marr Show during August 2009 to cover for Andrew Marr, and was an occasional relief presenter of Newsnight until she left the BBC. In 2009, Flanders played herself in a BBC Radio production of the Julian Gough short story The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble.[12] Set in Somaliland in the 1980s, the story is an allegorical analysis of certain aspects of modern economics, such as automatic trading, and complex financial derivatives.

On 26 September 2013 it was announced that Flanders would leave the BBC in order to join J.P. Morgan Asset Management[3] where she will be chief market strategist for Europe and the UK.[13] Guardian columnist Peter Preston mourned the BBC's loss, writing "She wasn't a simple reporter, talking to people and reading the runes: she was an intellectual player in a vital, but often arcane, area."[14] She was replaced as economics editor by the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston.[15] She still occasionally appears as an expert and presents programmes for the BBC.

Academia[edit]

Since 2008 she has been a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. On 28 February 2013, she presented the 2013 Bob Friend Memorial Lecture at the Pilkington Lecture Theatre at the University of Kent’s Medway Campus in Chatham.[16] The University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism has had since 2009, the Sky News Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship.[17]

Family and personal life[edit]

She is granddaughter of the radical journalist Claud Cockburn, whose journalist sons Alexander Cockburn, Andrew Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn are uncles. The US-based journalist Laura Flanders is her sister, and the film and television actor Olivia Wilde is a cousin. The writer and translator Lydia Davis is an aunt. She is distantly related to the novelist Evelyn Waugh. She is a daughter of Claudia Cockburn Flanders, who worked to improve access to public transport for people with disabilities.

Flanders and her partner John Arlidge (another journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Observer and other newspapers[18]) have a son, born in 2006, and a daughter, born in 2008.[8] She previously dated Ed Balls and Ed Miliband who went on to become Shadow Chancellor and leader of the Labour Party respectively.[19]

In June 2007 Flanders presented an edition of BBC Radio 4's Archive Hour about her father's career, titled Flanders on Flanders.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Who's Who
  2. ^ "The Work Foundation's Workworld Awards Winners Announced" (Press release). PR Newswire. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Stephanie Flanders to leave the BBC", BBC News, 26 September 2013
  4. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/02_february/15/flanders.shtml
  5. ^ Delgado, Martin (10 October 2010). "How BBC's credit crunch ice queen Stephanie Flanders fell Ed over heels...with Balls AND Miliband". Daily Mail (London). 
  6. ^ "Mary Greenham - Administrative/Management for TV Presenters and Broadcast Journalists". Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Kahn, Joseph. "Times Topics - Stephanie Flanders". New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Johnston, Jenny (29 March 2008). "Meet the Credit Crunch Crumpet: The unmarried mum who clashed with Cameron on Newsnight". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "BBC News at Ten". 17 March 2008. http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/player/nol/newsid_5350000/newsid_5351100?redirect=5351140.stm&news=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbwm=1&nbram=1.
  10. ^ "Masters of Money". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2190412/Iain-Duncan-Smith-BBC-Economics-Editor-Stephanie-Flanders-accused-showing-pro-Labour-bias.html Flanders criticized by Iain Duncan Smith
  12. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2009/05/the_great_hargeisa_goat_bubble.html
  13. ^ John Plunkett "BBC's Stephanie Flanders to join JP Morgan", theguardian.com, 26 September 2013
  14. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/sep/29/market-forces-bbc-economics-stephanie-flanders
  15. ^ "Robert Peston to become BBC economics editor". BBC News. 17 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "The lessons of the financial crisis for economists and the economic journalists". www.kent.ac.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Kent journalism student wins Sky News scholarship". www.kent.ac.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "John Arlidge". London: www.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Walker, Tim (7 August 2011). "Stephanie Flanders admits to being 'nauseated' by George Osborne". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  20. ^ "Re-discovering my father". BBC. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Evan Davis
Economics Editor: BBC News
2008 – 2013
Succeeded by
Robert Peston
Preceded by
Evan Davis
Economics Editor: BBC Newsnight
2002 – 2008
Succeeded by
Paul Mason