Carole Cadwalladr

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Carole Cadwalladr
Carole Cadwalladr 2019.jpg
BornCarole Jane Cadwalladr
Taunton, Somerset, England
EducationRadyr Comprehensive School
Alma materHertford College, Oxford

Carole Jane Cadwalladr (/kædˈwɒlədər/; born 1969) is a British author, investigative journalist and features writer. She is a features writer for The Observer and formerly worked at The Daily Telegraph.[1] Cadwalladr rose to international prominence in 2018 when she exposed the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Cadwalladr was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, alongside The New York Times reporters, for her coverage of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Early life[edit]

Cadwalladr was born in Taunton, Somerset[2] educated at Radyr Comprehensive School, Cardiff,[3] and Hertford College, Oxford.[4]


Cadwalladr's first novel, The Family Tree, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Author's Club First Novel Award, the Waverton Good Read Award, and the Wales Book of the Year. It was also a Daily Mail Book Club pick and was dramatised as a five-part serial on BBC Radio 4.[5] In the US, it was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. The Family Tree was translated into several languages including Spanish, Italian, German, Czech, and Portuguese.

As a journalist, her work in the second decade of the twenty-first century has been about issues related to technology. She has for example, interviewed Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.[6]

Starting in late 2016 The Observer published an extensive series of articles by Cadwalladr about what she called the "right-wing fake news ecosystem".[7]

Anthony Barnett wrote in the blog of The New York Review of Books about Cadwalladr's articles in The Observer, which have reported malpractice by campaigners for Brexit, and the illicit funding of Vote Leave, in the 2016 EU membership referendum. She has also reported on alleged links between Nigel Farage, the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump, and the Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election that has been investigated in the United States.[7] With regard to the Trump presidential campaign allegation, although the full report remains unpublished, the Mueller investigation reported that it had not found evidence that the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. Before Cambridge Analytica closed operations in 2018, the company took legal action against The Observer for the claims made in Cadwalladr's articles.[8]

In April 2019 Cadwalladr gave a fifteen-minute long TED talk about the links between Facebook and Brexit, titled "Facebook's role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy".[9] According to Cadwalladr she delivered the talk directly to the people she described as "'the Gods of Silicon Valley: Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Jack Dorsey'. The founders of Facebook and Google – who were sponsoring the conference – and the co-founder of Twitter – who was speaking at it."[10] She summarised her speech in an article in The Observer: "as things stood, I didn’t think it was possible to have free and fair elections ever again. That liberal democracy was broken. And they had broken it." The speech was applauded.[11][12] Some of the "tech giants" criticised complained about "factual inaccuracies", but when invited to specify them did not respond.[13][12]

Arron Banks initiated a libel action against Cadwalladr on 12 July 2019 over her claims that he had had a "covert relationship" with and been offered money by the Russian government.[14] Banks dropped two elements of his action, in January 2020. [15]

Cadwalladr is a member of All The Citizens, a not-for-profit organization registered as a UK-based limited company. The organisation is made up of journalists, filmmakers, advertising creatives, data scientists, artists, students and lawyers, which intends to crowdfund individual projects and campaigns.[16]

Journalism awards[edit]


  • Cadwalladr, Carole (1996). Lebanon (Travellers Survival Kit). Vacation Work. ISBN 1854581473.
  • Cadwalladr, Carole (2005). The Family Tree: A Novel. Penguin. ISBN 9781440649516.



  1. ^ "Carole Cadwalladr". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Search Results for England |".
  3. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (24 August 2015). "Whatever the party, our political elite is an Oxbridge club". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Hertford, Hugh, and Press Freedom". Hertford, College, Oxford University. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  5. ^ BookBrowse. "Carole Cadwalladr author biography".
  6. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (7 October 2014). "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales: 'It's true, I'm not a billionaire. So?' – interview". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b Barnett, Anthony (14 December 2017). "Democracy and the Machinations of Mind Control". New York Review of Books. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  8. ^ "The Observer fought off legal threats from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica". Press Gazette.
  9. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (17 April 2019). "Facebook's role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy | TED2019". TED.
  10. ^ Carole Cadwalladr (21 April 2019). "My TED talk: how I took on the tech titans in their lair". The Observer.
  11. ^ Tanner, John C. (26 April 2019). "Facebook gets called out at TED for breaking democracy". Disruptive.Asia. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b "The Web's Dark Chapter Unveiled At TED 2019". Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  13. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (21 April 2019). "My TED talk: how I took on the tech titans in their lair | Carole Cadwalladr". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Banks Formally Files Libel Proceedings Against Carole Cadwalladr -". Guido Fawkes. 12 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Arron Banks drops two parts of libel claim against Carole Cadwalladr -". 23 January 2020 – via
  16. ^ "All The Citizens: About". 21 July 2020.
  17. ^ Slawson, Nicola (12 December 2017). "Guardian and Observer scoop three prizes in British Journalism Awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  18. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (11 December 2017). "British Journalism Awards 2017: Nick Ferrari is journalist of the year, Inside Housing named top news provider". Press Gazette. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  19. ^ Greenfield, Patrick (14 March 2018). "Guardian and Observer journalists win nine awards at Press Awards" – via
  20. ^ Orwell Foundation (25 June 2018). "Orwell Prize 2018: The Orwell Prize for Journalism". The Orwell Foundation. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  21. ^ "The Observer's Carole Cadwalladr wins Reporters Without Borders' 'L'esprit de RSF' award | Reporters without borders". RSF (in French). Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Eileen (19 February 2019). "New York Times Wins Two George Polk Awards" – via
  23. ^ "The annual Stieg Larsson prize". 1 March 2013.
  24. ^ Rawlinson (November 2018). "Amelia Gentleman and Carole Cadwalladr win joint journalist of the year award". Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  25. ^ Twitter, Charlotte Tobitt (11 December 2018). "Observer's Carole Cadwalladr: Award wins are 'important piece of armour' against critics who attack me and my reporting".
  26. ^ staff, Guardian (3 April 2019). "National Press Awards: Guardian and Observer win for Windrush and Cambridge Analytica" – via
  27. ^ "Times Wins Three Loeb Awards". The New York Times Company. 1 July 2019.
  28. ^ Trounson, Rebecca (28 June 2019). "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2019 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". PR Newswire (Press release). UCLA Anderson School of Management. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Medals – Hay Festival". Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  30. ^ "The 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in National Reporting". The Pulitzer. Retrieved 26 May 2019.

External links[edit]