He said the role was “something [he]'d never even dared dream of”Chris Mason

Former student journalist and Christ’s College alumnus Chris Mason has been appointed as the BBC’s political editor – one of the top media jobs in Britain.

The former Geography student said he learnt his trade by working in student newspapers, radio, and television during his time in Cambridge.

Speaking on a podcast, Mason said he started university knowing he wanted to be a journalist, meaning “ratcheting up” experience was “as important” as his degree.

“Journalism is a passion led industry. They are as interested in your demonstrable enthusiasm as your academic record.”

“I regarded [the journalism] as being as important as the formal work side”. That’s what, he said, would give him the best chance of getting a traineeship at a broadcaster.

Mason was born in Yorkshire and has been vocal about his love for the Dales, saying that they gave him a “sense of belonging and identity”. He is still subscribed to the local newspaper.

His career in the BBC began at BBC Newcastle, and he has since covered politics in various roles, including two years spent in Brussels as the Europe correspondent. He will be stepping down from his current job as host of Radio 4 program “Any Questions” this summer.


Mountain View

In defence of the BBC

The position was the source of controversy during Laura Kuenssberg’s tenure. Her impartiality was questioned multiple times, including when Dominic Cummings named her as his only regular media contact.

Similar challenges were levelled at another possible candidate, Emily Maitlis.

One senior political journalist said that the BBC was struggling to decide whether to appoint a journalist who would break stories and a “wise statesman who is good at analysing events”.

It is understood that Mason is “seen internally as a safe pair of hands”.

The response from other journalists has been positive. The interim director of the BBC said “Chris has been an exceptional correspondent in an extraordinary time for British politics” with “calm, incisive analysis and [a] signature candid style”.

Paul Brand, the UK editor for Sky News, tweeted his congratulations to “one of the best in British broadcasting”, continuing that he would be “an absolute asset to the BBC in this role.”

In a statement, Mason said it would be a “tremendous privilege to take on what, for me, is the most extraordinary job in British broadcasting and journalism” and that he would be following “giants like Laura [Kuenssberg], Nick [Robinson] and Andrew [Marr] with a smattering of trepidation and a shedload of excitement and enthusiasm”.

He also said the role was “something I’d never even dared dream of.”