GUARDIAN JOURNALISTS WHO WENT TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Editor Alan Rusbridger (Cranleigh); political editor Patrick Wintour
(Westminster); leader writer Madeleine Bunting (Queen Mary’s,
Yorkshire); policy editor Jonathan Freedland (University College
School); columnist Polly Toynbee (Badminton); executive editor Ian
Katz (University College School); security affairs editor Richard
Norton Taylor (King’s School, Canterbury); arts editor-in-chief Clare
Margetson (Marlborough College); literary editor Clare Armitstead
(Bedales); public services editor David Brindle (Bablake); city editor
Julia Finch (King’s High, Warwick).; environment editor John Vidal (St
Bees); fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley (City of london School for
Girls); G3 editor Janine Gibson (Walthamstow Hall); northern editor
Martin Wainwright (Shreswbury); and industrial editor David Gow (St
Peter’s, York); Seumas Milne, an Old Wykehamist (Winchester College)
and at Balliol; the Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley (Rugby School and
Cambridge U); George Monbiot (Stowe); Zoe Williams (Godolphin and
Latymer)

Seumas Milne incidentally is the son of former BBC DG Alisdair Milne

Toodle pip!

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “GUARDIAN JOURNALISTS WHO WENT TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS

  1. Sam

    you should have just done a list of the ones that went to state school

  2. Watcyn Youd

    It would be a very short list I suspect

  3. brickburner

    are you suggesting this august journal simply reflects the narrow class interests of an unrepresentative ex-public school elite that sets the daily political agenda for their ex-school mates in the higher echelons of the civil service, the city, parliament and the army?

  4. thebristolblogger

    “Sir” Michael White (Bodmin Grammar) and Jackie Ashley (Rosebery Grammar School) were both state educated, albeit at high quality selective schools of the kind they and the Guardian don’t believe in.

    Ashley, wife of Andy “The Red” Marr (Lorrettos and Cambridge), actually likes to style herself The Hon. Jackie Ashley as her dad was Jack Ashley or Baron Ashley of Stoke, the Labour MP.

    Small world on Farringdon Road innit?

  5. Thug

    I went to a state school….where’s my fucking list!!

  6. That’s the editor of every single section i think?

  7. thebristolblogger

    It doesn’t include the Religious Affairs Editor …

    Oh no wait. That’d be Stephen Bates who went to one of the best state selective schools in the country, St Bartholomew’s Grammar, Newbury and New College, Oxford.

    We can also add Theatre Critic, Michael Billington (Warwick and St Catherine’s College, Oxford) and Simon Hoggart (Hymers College, Hull and King’s College Cambridge) whose dad was well-known academic Richard Hoggart.

  8. Jozer

    What about Rushbridger’s daughter, who no doubt because of feminist principles works for the Grauniad under her mother’s family name? Anyone know where she went?

  9. and there's more

    Jon Aglionby, who’s reported on Indonesia for the Guardian, did too.

  10. On Isabella Rusbridger (they’ve been calling her Isabella Mackie since the gogarty thing) – i found this:

    “Rusbridger also refused to discuss whether his children go to private schools, though Morgan claimed his newspaper has criticised Labour politicians for privately educating their children.”

    I suspect investigation of the Scott Trust Trusteees who run the Guardian would reveal a similiar class make up:

    http://www.gmgplc.co.uk/ScottTrust/TheTrustees/CurrentTrustees/tabid/254/Default.aspx

  11. thebristolblogger

    Rejoice comrades!

    I think I’ve found someone who might have had a comprehensive education.

    Charlie Brooker, not sure what school but a BA in Media Studies (Failed) from London Poly sounds hopeful ..

  12. At least 4 out of 9 Scott trustees went to public school:

    Liz Forgan – Benenden School private school and St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

    Andrew Graham – Truro Cathedral School and then Charterhouse then Oxford University

    Carolyn McCall – catholic girls’ public school in Derbyshire

    Alan Rusbridger – cranleigh public school

    Maleiha Malik ? And oxford

    Will Hutton – Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School

    Geraldine Proudler -?

    Larry Elliot ?

    Phil Boardman – ?

  13. Rusbridger on his kids education (The PM in this exhange in Piers Morgan i’m afraid):

    AR: But I’ve got children as well.
    PM: They’re privately educated?
    AR: Er… [pause].
    PM: Is that a valid question?
    AR: I don’t… think so… no.
    PM: And you went to Cranleigh, a top public school.
    AR: I did, yes.
    PM: Do you feel uncomfortable answering that question?
    AR: It falls into the category of something I don’t feel embarrassed about, but you get on to a slippery slope about what else you talk about, don’t you?
    PM: It’s not really about your private life though, is it? It’s just a fact. And I assume by your reluctance to answer the question that they are privately educated.
    AR: [Pause] Again, I am trying to make a distinction between…
    PM: You often run stories about Labour politicians sending their kids to private schools, and you are quite censorious about it. Are you worried that it makes you look a hypocrite again?
    AR: No. I think there are boundaries. It goes back to this question of whether editors are public figures or not.
    PM: And you don’t think they are?
    AR: Well, again, I’ve tried to draw a distinction between making my journalism accountable, but I have never tried to go around talking about my private life and therefore making myself into a public figure.

  14. Anne

    So what you’re saying is that the schools people go to aged 11, a decision generally made by their parents, are an accurate reflection of the political views they will have when they grow up. That anyone who does go to a private school, whether it was their idea or not, is not allowed to grow up and write for a left wing paper, because they’re only allowed to be right wing.

    You’re also advocating inverted snobbery by suggesting that people who have been to private schools shouldn’t be allowed to work for left wing papers, ever. Why, exactly? Because they’re a bit privileged so they should piss off to the Telegraph?

    I spent three years at a posh private school, then moved to an inner city comp (which I attended with an Observer journalist, as it happens). So what does that mean? As I only spent four out of seven of my senior school days at a state school, am I only allowed to write for the Guardian four days a week?

    One other thing. The job of any newspaper journalist is to serve their readers. I’d say GNM is right to hire the best person for the job, not dismiss people from the running on the basis of the schools they went to.

  15. Anne

    I meant senior school years, not days. Anyway, one more thought. Let’s turn this on its head, shall we? How about someone writes a blog post all about how people from state schools shouldn’t be allowed to write for posh papers. You wouldn’t like that, would you?

  16. I’d like to play counterpoint to Anne. I’m also a journalist but I went public school all the way. I’ve written for newspapers and magazines and met all kinds of journalists in my time. I don’t believe for one moment that where you went to school and whether it was public or private matters one iota. If you have the talent to write copy, the eagerness to crack publications and the ability to smell a story then you’re on the right road to journalism. Your post on the other hand was hardly balanced now was it? You presented the ‘facts’ and expected people to buy it, without giving them the whole story or even looking into the circumstances of those involved. You just added 1 and 1 together and made five.

  17. Diane

    I’m not sure if you’re implying that only public school people get ahead at the Guardian — if so, I don’t for one minute think that’s Graun policy.
    And Anne’s right, people can’t help where their parents sent them, can they, so what’s the point in pointing it out?

    Or perhaps you’re saying that the middle classes shouldn’t send their kids to public school at all? If so, I totally agreed with Arabella Weir’s piece in G2 yesterday which argued that the middle classes should support state schools in order to improve education for all.

  18. Hack

    This blog balanced? your hoping against hope there. What the above commenters haven’t realised is that this isn’t about balance or fairness its about envy and hatred. You see, the blogger so wishes he could have been a hack. But he was so consumed by this obsession to hate that he got sidetracked and so set himself up as the messiah of the lower orders, only thing is no one told the lower orders. So here he is now a bitter and twisted pensioner devoted to pouring scorn and hatred on those in the profession he so wanted to be a part of.

  19. Anne

    Bitter and twisted is right. He’s already emailed me to accuse me of being a talentless class tourist because I dared to go to a private school briefly, then return to state education, then dared to become a journalist.

  20. Send that link every where Anne!
    Your bitter enough! XXX 😉

  21. Wouldn’t it be a shock if this rather late flurry of posts by defenders of privelige all turned out to be from the same address?

  22. Anne

    You can find me at annewollenberg.co.uk. Lesley Smith has posted her own web link.

    Last time I checked, we weren’t defending privilege, we were saying people from state schools aren’t incapable of breaking into journalism.

  23. Hack

    There’s many state educated journalists, but i guess listing their names would destroy the flimsy point, if any, he’s trying to make. Though i suspect that they too would come in for the bitterness and hatred.

  24. Lesley Smith,

    I don’t believe for one moment that where you went to school and whether it was public or private matters one iota.

    Yes, there is wonderful equality of opportunity in the media.

    This is why around 14% of the top media positions are filled by those educated at comprehensive schools despite the fact that these schools educate 90% of all pupils.

    Oh wait a minute, I seem to be a bit confused…

  25. Simon

    I say, a few Guardian journalists seem to be a bit upset – Tony Blair’s meritocratic mafia seem to have been a bit late in picking up this thread. Pushed any ‘dodgy dossiers’ lately? I wouldn’t know if you had because I haven’t picked The Guardian up for years…I always used to feel a bit dirty, after all it’s the must-read of the parasitocracy – social workers, senior ‘practitioners’ (?), diversity officers – all those apparatchiks concerned with the decor of asset-stripping disguised as ‘regeneration’ and getting ‘hard-working families’, etc.,etc. to collaborate in their own destruction

  26. I guess this demonstrated over-representation of private school educated types in the media is just down to genetics? I mean we’ve ruled out it being a result of privelige, nepotism or systemic biases. What else is left

    “Over half country’s top journalists went to private schools

    Over half of the country’s leading news journalists were educated in private schools – which account for just 7% of the school population – according to the latest survey carried out by the Sutton Trust, the educational charity, and published today.

    The proportion of independently educated top newspaper editors, columnists and news presenters and editors has actually increased over the last 20 years, the research reveals.

    A survey also finds widespread fears in the trade that the high costs of training and low pay and security at junior levels will mean that an even a higher proportion of those from privileged backgrounds will dominate the news media in the future.

    The Trust’s research detailed for the first time the educational backgrounds of a list of the UK’s 100 leading national newspaper editors, columnists, leading broadcast editors and news presenters both today and 20 years ago. It found that over half (54%) of today’s top journalists were educated in private schools which account for 7% of the school population. A further 33% went to grammar schools, and just 14% attended comprehensives schools, which now educate almost 90% of children.

    In 1986, 49% of the top journalists were educated privately, 44% were educated at grammar schools and 6% at comprehensives.

    The survey also reveals that of the 81% of the leading journalists in 2006 who had been to university, over half were educated at Oxbridge, including a third who went to one institution, Oxford. Among the 1986 sample, 78% were university graduates, 67% of whom had been to Oxbridge, including two-fifths to Oxford.”

    http://www.suttontrust.com/news.asp#a027
    http://www.suttontrust.com/reports/Journalists-backgrounds-final-report.pdf

  27. monty sutton

    Why is anyone surprised it is the absolute base note of British society that public school educated children of the rich,successful and ambitious get the top jobs. What is there to say – it has always – quite deliberately been so. The mechanisms are numerous – quick look at CV’s boss sees schools he recognises and reserves them, old boy network, weird cofident voices adopted by public school educatees, weird confidence of public school educatees in which they believe they have the right to these top jobs etc etc.

  28. PoodleTips

    I’m a low-paid struggling journalist, “comp schooler” and journalism graduate who had the pleasure of work experience for 2 weeks at the Guardian in 2004.

    They didn’t pay travel expenses and at one point I found I hand written note with facts, written at the request of the editor, on the floor and under her foot (honestly!)

    She’s listed in this post and I worked with her and her deputy – also a public school girl.

    They made very, very little eye contact or conversation. I felt intermidated but asked one or two questions which were both ignored by the deputy despite it was clear she heard me.

    I read their work during my time there and spotted a published spelling error (on a celebrity surname) and also a factual error on the owner of a museum.

    The right people for the job? Or just rich kids bread to behave a certain way, network with other rich kids and maintain the status quo?

    I can only concur that the liberal media is a myth. Newspaper are a business based on a capitalist structure. So how can they ever really be left wing?

  29. Meg Merrilees

    Public school gal and lefty polemicist Polly Toynbee got in to Oxford to read history despite having only one A-level!!! (Alas, she soon dropped out.)
    To Oxford on only one A level!
    We should all have been so lucky!
    Oh the joys of having a famous historian as a grandpappy and a well-connected daddy.

  30. thebristolblogger

    David Miliband got in with Ds at A Level – on a scholarship for poor people (Daddy was only an impoverished Marxist sociologist with a job for life at the LSE with a house in Primrose Hill)

    ps. Anyone got a contact for Bristol Class War?

  31. shiva

    The illogical defense of inaccurate assumptions in this thread is priceless. That’s you Anne.

    Between this and the BBC it’s like they only teach state school pupils what ‘institutionalisation’ means! Or ‘representative’ for that matter. Unbelievable really.

  32. I think that the public school (and they are hardly schools at the lower end of the fee/top-nob scales are they?) link simply shows that privilege leads to opportunity and then influence. Not really news that, is it?

    As for the people who are delighting in the fact that it’s ‘The Guardian’ journo’s under the microscope, surely they are simply people driven by ‘all lefties are hypocrites’ kind of narrow bigotry.

    Their self-loathing and spit-flecked hatred is amusing to read though.

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