Cathy Newman

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Cathy Newman in 2012

Cathy Newman (born 14 July 1974)[1] is an English journalist and presenter of Channel 4 News.

Early life[edit]

Born in Guildford, Surrey, Newman is a daughter of two chemistry teachers, and was on the path to a career as a violinist or the legal profession before changing her plans as a result of seeing BBC journalist Kate Adie on television.[2] Newman graduated with a first[1] from University of Oxford, where she had read English at Lady Margaret Hall.[3]

Career in journalism[edit]

After university, Newman briefly worked for Media Week and The Independent (as business correspondent)[4] before joining the Financial Times at the age of 23. Her older colleague Alice Rawsthorn acted as a mentor at the FT,[5] where Newman worked as a media and then (for three years) political correspondent. In 2000, Newman gained a Laurence Stern fellowship to work at The Washington Post for four months.[4] During her period in the US, she followed the 2000 Presidential campaign of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.[2]

She joined Channel 4 News as a political correspondent (and deputy to political editor Gary Gibbon) in January 2006[6] in which role she managed in 2009 to challenge Peter Mandelson at the Labour Party conference, held in Brighton that year, over his claimed use of the 'c' word in a conversation with Rebekah Brooks, then CEO of News International.[7]

Newman became the first female co-presenter of the programme in 2011.[8] She has also headed the team behind the FactCheck blog which has resulted in several scoops for the programme.[6] From February 2013, she gained attention for her pursuit of a story about the allegations of improper conduct levelled at Lord Rennard, once a leading figure in the Liberal Democrats, including her participation in an LBC local London radio phone-in on 27 February to quiz deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on the issue.[9][10] Newman has commented that sexism was endemic at Westminster during her period as a lobby correspondent there, but has also said that the newspaper industry is even worse.[11] Among her other television appearances, she has been a guest panellist on Have I Got News For You.[12]

A regular commentator on politics in other media outlets, Newman blogs for The Daily Telegraph[13] and Economia magazine.[14] She was long-listed for the Orwell Prize (Journalism) in 2010[15] and again in 2011 for the blog prize.[16]

In 2015, she was announced as one of the judges for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction.[17]

Mosque "ushering" apology[edit]

On February 1, 2015 Newman tweeted that she was "ushered onto the street" when she went to South London Islamic Centre (SLIC) for a 'Visit My Mosque' programme in error.[18] Later, The Huffington Post obtained CCTV footage which, it claimed, "appeared to contradict" her account. Newman has since apologised.[19]

In a letter to the South London Islamic Centre which was released to the media, the editor of Channel 4 News, Ben de Pear, expressed his "disappointment" in the "poorly chosen" language Newman had used in her tweets. Newman also apologised in her own letter for sending "inappropriate" tweets "in haste".[20]

Personal life[edit]

In 2001 Newman married writer John O'Connell, whom she met at university. The couple have two daughters.[8] Newman has talked openly about deciding to abort[21] another child, after discovering 13 weeks in to her pregnancy that the baby had a very rare condition which meant there was a high chance it would die before reaching full term, or during labour.


  1. ^ a b Lisa Campbell "Cathy Newman, C4 News", Broadcast, 20 October 2011. Newman's date of birth as given as "Bastille Day 1974".
  2. ^ a b Ian Burrell "Channel 4 newsreader Cathy Newman doesn't just read the news - she makes it", Independent on Sunday, 18 May 2014
  3. ^ "Prominent LMH alumni" Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University website
  4. ^ a b "Cathy Newman - News and Current Affairs", Knight Ayton Management
  5. ^ Sophie Morris "My Mentor: Cathy Newman On Alice Rawsthorn", The Independent, 28 August 2006
  6. ^ a b "Cathy Newman - Presenter", Channel 4 News website
  7. ^ "Did Mandelson use the 'chump' word?", Channel 4 News, 30 September 2009
  8. ^ a b Neil Midgley "Cathy Newman: The time I feel the need for plastic surgery is the time that I leave TV", Evening Standard, 6 December 2011
  9. ^ Jessica Elgot "Lord Rennard Allegations: Channel 4 Cathy Newman Calls Clegg Phone-In", The Huffington Post United Kingdom, 27 February 2013
  10. ^ Media Monkey "Lord Rennard row: Nick Clegg called to account by Cathy Newman", The Guardian (blog), 27 February 2013
  11. ^ Lisa O'Carroll "Cathy Newman claims to have been propositioned at political conference",, 26 February 2013
  12. ^ "Have I Got News for You, Series 46, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Cathy Newman", contributor page,
  14. ^ "Cathy Newman", Economia contributor page
  15. ^ "Cathy Newman - Political correspondent", The Orwell Prize, Journalism Prize, 2010
  16. ^ "Cathy Newman - The FactCheck Blog - Channel 4 News", The Orwell Prize, Blog Prize, 2011
  17. ^ "Baileys women's prize for fiction shortlists debut alongside star names". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Channel 4's Cathy Newman 'Ushered Out' Of London Mosque During Open Day", Huffington Post, 1 February 2015
  19. ^ "Channel 4's Cathy Newman Apologises After CCTV Footage Emerges Of Mosque Incident", Huffington Poat, 6 February 2015
  20. ^ Jessica Elgot "Cathy Newman, Channel 4 Presenter, Apologises To Mosque, Announces Break From Twitter", Huffington Poat, 12 February 2015
  21. ^ "Cathy Newman: how the agony of my abortion made me see both sides". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 

External links[edit]