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. Newman graduated with a first from University of Oxford, where she had read English at Lady Margaret Hall.
Career in journalism
After university, Newman briefly worked for Media Week and The Independent (as business correspondent) before joining the Financial Times at the age of 23. Her older colleague Alice Rawsthorn acted as a mentor at the FT, 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. During her period in the US, she followed the 2000 Presidential campaign of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.
She joined Channel 4 News as a political correspondent (and deputy to political editor Gary Gibbon) in January 2006 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.
Newman became the first female co-presenter of the programme in 2011. She has also headed the team behind the FactCheck blog which has resulted in several scoops for the programme. 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. 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. Among her other television appearances, she has been a guest panellist on Have I Got News For You.
A regular commentator on politics in other media outlets, Newman blogs for The Daily Telegraph and Economia magazine. She was long-listed for the Orwell Prize (Journalism) in 2010 and again in 2011 for the blog prize.
Mosque "ushering" apology
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. Later, The Huffington Post obtained CCTV footage which, it claimed, "appeared to contradict" her account. Newman has since apologised.
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".
In 2001 Newman married writer John O'Connell, whom she met at university. The couple have two daughters. Newman has talked openly about deciding to abort 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.
- Lisa Campbell "Cathy Newman, C4 News", Broadcast, 20 October 2011. Newman's date of birth as given as "Bastille Day 1974".
- Ian Burrell "Channel 4 newsreader Cathy Newman doesn't just read the news - she makes it", Independent on Sunday, 18 May 2014
- "Prominent LMH alumni" Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University website
- "Cathy Newman - News and Current Affairs", Knight Ayton Management
- Sophie Morris "My Mentor: Cathy Newman On Alice Rawsthorn", The Independent, 28 August 2006
- "Cathy Newman - Presenter", Channel 4 News website
- "Did Mandelson use the 'chump' word?", Channel 4 News, 30 September 2009
- 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
- Jessica Elgot "Lord Rennard Allegations: Channel 4 Cathy Newman Calls Clegg Phone-In", The Huffington Post United Kingdom, 27 February 2013
- Media Monkey "Lord Rennard row: Nick Clegg called to account by Cathy Newman", The Guardian (blog), 27 February 2013
- Lisa O'Carroll "Cathy Newman claims to have been propositioned at political conference", theguardian.com, 26 February 2013
- "Have I Got News for You, Series 46, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Cathy Newman", contributor page, telegraph.co.uk
- "Cathy Newman", Economia contributor page
- "Cathy Newman - Political correspondent", The Orwell Prize, Journalism Prize, 2010
- "Cathy Newman - The FactCheck Blog - Channel 4 News", The Orwell Prize, Blog Prize, 2011
- "Baileys women's prize for fiction shortlists debut alongside star names". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- "Channel 4's Cathy Newman 'Ushered Out' Of London Mosque During Open Day", Huffington Post, 1 February 2015
- "Channel 4's Cathy Newman Apologises After CCTV Footage Emerges Of Mosque Incident", Huffington Poat, 6 February 2015
- Jessica Elgot "Cathy Newman, Channel 4 Presenter, Apologises To Mosque, Announces Break From Twitter", Huffington Poat, 12 February 2015
- "Cathy Newman: how the agony of my abortion made me see both sides". Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2015.