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Emma Barnett (born 5 February 1985) is a British broadcaster and journalist. A former Digital Media and Women Editor for The Daily Telegraph, she is a weekday broadcaster for BBC Radio 5 Live and an occasional presenter of Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4. From August 2016, Barnett has been a columnist for The Sunday Times and a co-presenter of BBC One's Sunday Morning Live since June 2017. Since October 2017, she has co-presented ITV's After The News.
Barnett attended Manchester High School for Girls, an independent school. She studied history and politics at Nottingham University and graduated in 2006. Following work experience at The Sunday Times, Barnett undertook a post-graduate course in journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.
From an Orthodox Jewish background, though not herself especially observant, and with an ambivalence about both Orthodox and Reform Judaism, Barnett has described herself "as a Jew in disguise".
Journalist and broadcaster
Barnett began her career in journalism at Media Week in 2007 and joined The Daily Telegraph in 2009, later becoming the paper's first Digital Media Editor. Later, from 2012, the women's editor for the paper, Barnett launched The Telegraph’s digital section, "Wonder Women" in October 2012 with contributors such as Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News. "I don’t remember ever not being a feminist", Barnett told an interviewer in 2015, and is a member of the Women's Equality Party.
Previously a radio presenter for LBC for almost three years until early 2014, Barnett joined BBC Radio 5 Live in the summer. From November 2014, she presented the station's Hit List programme, a countdown of the 40 highest profile online news stories of the week.
In September 2016, by now no longer on the staff of The Telegraph, Barnett began to present 5 live Daily Wednesday-Friday 10am-1pm. She was the first woman presenter on 5 Live to have a regular solo slot after the departure of Shelagh Fogarty and Victoria Derbyshire in 2014. In August 2016, Barnett's 'Tough Love' agony column began in The Sunday Times Magazine. To encourage her readers to write in about difficult issues, she referred to "the most painful chapter of my life" when, almost a decade earlier, her father was imprisoned for living off immoral earnings.
In April 2014, Barnett was a judge for Woman's Hour (BBC Radio 4) power list, a programme on which she has been an occasional presenter, the youngest in the programme's history. A decade before Barnett began her role on Woman's Hour, at 17, she did work experience with its presenter, Jenni Murray. Additionally, she has made documentaries for Radio 4.
In May 2017, Barnett interviewed the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Woman's Hour, as part of the general election cycle. Corbyn struggled to recall the correct costing estimates relating to his party's childcare proposals. Some supporters of the Labour leader sent abuse to Barnett via the social media network Twitter, which were considered antisemitic in nature. Corbyn responded to the abuse later the same day, condemning the use of antisemitic slurs, as well as insisting that "under no circumstances whatsoever should anyone throw personal abuse at anyone else because they are doing the job that they have been employed to do".
Barnett was named best new radio presenter at the Arqiva commercial radio awards and named in two consecutive annual lists of the Radio Academy’s 30 under 30 list. She also made the "20 under 30 Hot List" feature in Red magazine in 2011. While at The Telegraph, Barnett was "Digital Journalist of the Year" by the Association of Online Publishers and "Digital Writer of the Year" at the 2011 Online Media Awards.
- Barnett, Emma (11 June 2016). "'The sins of the father are not the sins of the child': BBC's new star and her heartbreak over the prison shame of her father profits". Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (2 June 2014). "Kirstie Allsopp — Are her views on women for real?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "A Levels: Emma's flawless score". Manchester Evening News. 18 January 2013 [10 August 2004]. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Goodwin, Matthew (5 July 2012). "Nottingham Politics Alumna Emma Barnett wins Laureate Award". School of Politics & International Relations, University of Nottingham. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- "Inspirational women – Emma Barnett". Changing People. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (11 March 2014). "Can you really be an Orthodox Jew and a feminist?". -The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (27 October 2016). "Reform? Orthodox? I'm not sure where I belong". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (9 June 2016). "I operate as a Jew in disguise". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Bussey, Cathy (6 October 2011). "Spotlight on...Emma Barnett: 'The Internet Has Moved On'". PR Week. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- Turvill, William (1 October 2012). "Telegraph launches 'sassy' website for women". Press Gazette. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (1 October 2012). "Welcome to Wonder Women, new from The Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Jackson, Jasper (18 September 2016). "Emma Barnett to host BBC Radio 5 Live morning show". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (18 June 2015). "Feminism is a toxic word and us feminists should remember that". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
- Plunkett, John (7 July 2014). "BBC Radio 5 Live recruits Emma Barnett for new Sunday night show". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Emma Barnett to present The 5 live Hit List". BBC Media Centre. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Barnett, Emma (7 August 2016). "Tough love". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 31 May 2017. (subscription required)
- "Woman's Hour Power List 2014 – the panel". BBC Radio 4.
- Delgado, Kasia (21 September 2016). "Emma Barnett is on a mission to smash taboos on Radio 5 Live". Radio Times. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Morrison, Sarah (21 September 2013). "Women of the Future Awards: Full shortlist". The Independent. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Elgot, Jessica; Mason, Rowena (31 May 2017). "Corbyn unable to give cost of childcare pledge in interview". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Coates, Sam; Johnston, Neil (31 May 2017). "Emma Barnett's interview with Jeremy Corbyn fuels Labour antisemitism row". The Times. Retrieved 31 May 2017. (subscription required)
- Ponsford, Dominic (31 May 2017). "BBC's Emma Barnett called a Zionist on Twitter after cornering Corbyn over cost of childcare". Press Gazette. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- "Red magazine's 20 Under 30: 'The Hot List'". The Telegraph. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Contributor page: Emma Barnett", The Telegraph website