Press releases

13 April 2008

Polly Toynbee Voted UK’s ‘Most Influential’ Commentator

Polly Toynbee of The Guardian has been voted ‘the most influential’ commentator in the UK in a new poll from Editorial Intelligence, the media analysis firm which specialises in monitoring ‘the Commentariat’.

Polly Toynbee came top in both a ‘free’ vote asking people to name who they ranked most, but also top in the ‘highly influential’ category from over 50 regular bylined daily or weekly UK national newspaper and online commentators.

The Editorial Intelligence top 10 commentators with the highest influence are:

  1. Polly Toynbee – The Guardian
  2. Trevor Kavanagh – The Sun
  3. Irwin Steltzer – The Sunday Times
  4. Nick Robinson –BBC blog ‘Nick Robinson’s Newslog’
  5. Anatole Kaletsky – The Times
  6. Simon Jenkins – The Guardian / Sunday Times
  7. = Robert Peston – BBC blog ‘Peston’s Picks’
    = Jeff Randall – Daily Telegraph
  8. Richard Littlejohn – The Daily Mail
  9. George Monbiot – The Guardian
  10. = Martin Wolf – The Financial Times
    = Matthew d’Ancona – The Sunday Telegraph

Julia Hobsbawm, Chief Executive of Editorial Intelligence and co-author of the forthcoming report ‘The Power of the Commentariat: How much do Commentators influence politics and public opinion?’ said:

“Our poll findings clearly show that Polly Toynbee’s influence is perceived to be huge in British public life. In our forthcoming report a number of opinion formers in politics and public life have gone on the record praising her for combining forensic journalistic research with heart-on-sleeve opinion. It is perhaps for this reason that her columns resonate in Whitehall and beyond.”

  1. Full details of the poll findings, including the most influential leader pages and political blogs will be published in May. In a similar poll conducted on behalf of Editorial Intelligence in 2007 by Opinion Leader Research, Polly Toynbee was also voted the most influential commentator in the UK.
  2. Editorial Intelligence polled people online from amongst a range of opinion formers and self-selecting interested parties across politics, business, media, and academia, as well as the members of the Facebook Group ‘Keep up with the Commentariat’.
  3. The poll findings are part of a joint report by Julia Hobsbawm of Editorial Intelligence and John Lloyd of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism entitled ‘The Power of The Commentariat’ which will be published in association with Weber Shandwick and the City of London Corporation on 7 May.

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