Biography

Paul Mason © Paul Mason

Paul Mason is a journalist, writer, film-maker and public speaker. His latest book Clear Bright Future: A radical defence of the human being explores the moral, political and economic challenges posed by the current crisis of democracy and the coming challenge of intelligent machines. 

He speaks regularly to professional audiences across the globe in business and politics, about the impact of information technology on the economy and society.  Recent engagements include Moscow, Warsaw, Zagreb, Amsterdam, Berlin, Athens, Vienna, Zagreb, Seoul, Sydney, Toronto, Helsinki and New York City.

He is the author of six books, including Postcapitalism, Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere and Rare Earth: A Novel. As economics editor at both BBC Newsnight (2001-13) and Channel 4 News (2013-16) he won numerous awards and plaudits, including the Africa Business Reporter of the Year, RTS Specialist Reporter of the Year and the Wincott Award. He was on the front line of covering the global financial crisis from 2007 onwards – but his work as a reporter ranged beyond economics: he reported from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, from the 2007 ethnic conflict in Kenya, the Indignados protests in Greece and Spain, the Taksim Square protest in Turkey, the Gaza War of 2014 and from the floor of the Congress of the Communist Party of China. His documentary series #ThisIsACoup (dir. Theopi Skarlatos) covered the Greek crisis of 2015 from inside and outside the corridors of power.

In 2016 Paul quit public service TV journalism in order to free himself from its impartiality constraints, throwing himself into the Brexit crisis and the emergence of a radical left within social democracy.

He writes a weekly column for the New Statesman, and contributes to the Guardian, Freitag and Le Monde Diplomatique. He is a frequent guest on opinion-forming TV and radio shows, including BBC Newsnight, DemocracyNow! BBC Politics Live and BBC Question Time.

Three of Paul’s plays have been performed: Party Animals (JB Shorts 2016), Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere (Young Vic 2017) and Divine Chaos of Starry Things (White Bear 2017). He wrote and directed the short film Astoria (2016) commissioned by Young Vic films. He worked as a consultant on the 2017 movie Jason Bourne.

Current work in development includes a short book about Karl Marx, a drama-documentary about the Spanish Civil War and the play Feel My Pulse. He writes:

“I’m an antifascist, a humanist, a radical social democrat – and my latest book Clear Bright Future, is an attempt to set out in principle what these ideas mean. I believe rapid automation and collaborative production can achieve a low-work, zero carbon economy – but only if we resist machine control of our politics, our behaviour and our lives. With the simultaneous collapse of an economic model, belief in democracy and truth, and the rise of algorithmic control, we’re facing a crisis that could roll back 400 years of rationality. I’m optimistic we can stop it.”