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June 17, 2022updated 30 Sep 2022 11:26am

Laura Kuenssberg is UK journalist most Britons pay attention to, survey says

By Andrew Kersley

Laura Kuenssberg tops the list of the most famous journalists in the UK according to a new survey which asked Britons to name five journalists they pay attention to.

According to the latest Reuters Institute Digital News report, the former BBC political editor was the most cited journalist in its polling, followed by ITV’s Robert Peston, Huw Edwards of the BBC, News UK’s Piers Morgan and Jon Snow, who recently retired from his role as Channel 4 News main anchor.

The rest of the list was made up of Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, former BBC heavyweight and current New Statesman political editor Andrew Marr, Guardian sketch writer John Crace, Guardian columnist Owen Jones and Mirror political editor Pippa Crerar.

Six of UK journalists mentioned on the top ten list worked at “impartially regulated” broadcasters like the BBC or ITV at some point in the previous year and three worked for The Guardian.

The tenth entrant on the list, The Mirror’s Pippa Crerar, has shot to fame over the last few years after breaking some of the biggest political stories of the pandemic. Last month it was announced she is moving to become political editor of The Guardian.

The rise and rise of Pippa Crerar

In November 2021, Crerar broke the story of a lockdown-breaking party in Downing Street in what would become the first in a long line of scoops on the ongoing Partygate saga that has plagued Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The year before that, she revealed that former chief Johnson aide Dominic Cummings was investigated by police after driving 250 miles to his parent’s home near Durham and breaking lockdown rules, a story that has become infamously associated with the nearby town of Barnard Castle.

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The YouGov survey asked 2,410 people in the UK to name up to five specific journalists they pay attention to. Only around half named a specific journalist they follow.

Famous journalists or famous titles?

The survey also found that far more readers in the UK identify with famous titles rather than famous journalists.

Some 43% of those asked said they pay more attention to specific news brands, while 11% said they paid more attention to specific journalists (the remaining respondents either said they didn’t know or didn’t identify with either).

This contrasts with the US, where almost twice as many respondents (21%) said they primarily identified with specific journalists, or Brazil where the figure was a much higher 46%.

In the US all ten of the top ten most famous journalists cited in the same report were broadcasters whereas in the UK only six were, reflecting the fact that US news is more personality and opinion driven.

Here are the ten most famous journalists in the UK for 2022:
  1. Laura Kuenssberg (BBC)
  2. Robert Peston (ITV)
  3. Huw Edwards (BBC)
  4. Piers Morgan (ITV / TalkTV)
  5. Jon Snow (Channel 4)
  6. Marina Hyde (Guardian)
  7. Andrew Marr (BBC / LBC / New Statesman)
  8. John Crace (Guardian)
  9. Owen Jones (Guardian)
  10. Pippa Crerar (Mirror)

Pictures: Reuters / Henry Nicholls, BBC News, Aaron Chown / PA Wire, Leon Neal / Getty Images

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