Jason Cowley

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Jason Cowley
Born 1965
Education Latton Bush School
Alma mater University of Southampton
Occupation English journalist
Website http://jasoncowley.net

Jason Cowley is an English journalist, magazine editor and writer. After working at the New Statesman, he became the editor of Granta in September 2007, while also remaining a writer on The Observer,[1][2] and he moved back to the New Statesman as its editor in September 2008.

Early life and education[edit]

Cowley was brought up in the town of Harlow in Essex.[3] He was educated at Latton Bush School,[4] a former state comprehensive school in Harlow, followed by the University of Southampton,[4] from which he graduated in 1989 with a first class degree in English and Philosophy.

Life and career[edit]

In the early 1990s, Cowley began publishing reviews, literary essays and articles in British newspapers and magazines before, in 1996, becoming a staff writer on The Times, during which period he was a judge of the Booker Prize for fiction. In the summer of 1998, he became literary editor of the New Statesman, later he was a contributing editor of the magazine. Meanwhile, he continued to publish widely on an unusual range and combination of subjects, including literature, sport and politics.

In 2003, Cowley joined the staff of The Observer working there as editor of The Observer Sport Monthly magazine and as a writer. Under his editorship the magazine won numerous awards. He left The Observer to become editor of the literary magazine Granta.

Cowley's novel, Unknown Pleasures,[5] was published by Faber&Faber in 2000 and a second book, a work of narrative non-fiction called The Last Game: Love, Death and Football, was published by Simon & Schuster in spring 2009.[6]

Cowley was appointed as the Editor of the New Statesman magazine on 16 May 2008.[7][8] and he returned in September 2008. Cowley's philosophy for the New Statesman was to explore ideas across the political spectrum, saying 'I want to use the pages of the magazine to explore political ideas on both left and right.'[9] On 10 November 2009, he won the British Society of Magazine Editors' Editor of the Year award in the Special Interest and Current Affairs Magazines category. The judges said that Cowley had transformed the New Statesman and 'created issues of the magazine that were the envy of the industry'.[10][11]

In 2010 and 2012, Cowley was shortlisted for the most coveted awards in the magazine industry, as Editor of the Year (consumer magazines) in the PPA Awards.[12] In 2011, he was named editor of the year in the Newspaper & Current Affairs Magazines category at the British Society of Magazine Editors awards.[13] In January 2013, Cowley was shortlisted for the European Press Prize editing award.[27] The awards committee said: 'Cowley has succeeded in revitalising the New Statesman and re-establishing its position as an influential political and cultural weekly. He has given the New Statesman an edge and a relevance to current affairs it hasn't had for years.'

In August 2014, Cowley was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[14] He has consistently been included in the Evening Standard's list of the 1000 Most Influential People in London. He was named among Britain's most influential 500 people by Debrett's 500 in association with the Sunday Times in 2015.

Under his editorship of the New Statesman, circulation, readership and online figures have significantly increased.[15]


  1. ^ Leith, Sam (5 May 2007). "First Person Singular". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  2. ^ Rickett, Joel (28 April 2007). "The bookseller". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  3. ^ Jason Cowley (1 August 2002). "Down Town". The Guardian newspaper. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b James_Robinson (27 April 2009). "A new kind of Statesman". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Cowley, Jason (19 Jun 2000). Unknown Pleasures. Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-20233-0. 
  6. ^ Cowley, Jason (6 April 2009). The Last Game: Love, Death and Football at the End of the Eighties. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-84737-185-0. 
  7. ^ Brook, Stephen (16 May 2008). "Cowley named as New Statesman editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Lo Dico, Joy (25 May 2008). "A 'New Statesman' kind of guy. Just not New Labour". The Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  9. ^ Burrell, Ian (30 November 2009). "Jason Cowley: 'I'm beholden to no party - and certainly not the Labour Party'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  10. ^ Preston, Peter (15 November 2009). "Jason Cowley: big fish at the BSME awards". The Observer. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "New Statesman editor wins at BSME awards". New Statesman. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "New Statesman editor Jason Cowley shortlisted as Editor of the Year in the PPA Awards.". New Statesman. 26 April 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  13. ^ "2011 BSME Award Winners". BSME News. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland - full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  15. ^ "New Statesman announces record year". New Statesman. 2016-12-15. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Ian Jack
Editor of Granta
Succeeded by
(Alex Clark)
Preceded by
John Kampfner
Editor of the New Statesman
Succeeded by