Newsnight's Paul Mason follows Crick, Frei and Long from BBC to C4 News

Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason has become the latest high-profile BBC journalist to defect to Channel 4 News.

He is joining the ITN-produced programme as culture and digital editor. He follows former Newsnight political editor Michael Crick who joined Channel 4 News as political correspondent in 2011 following an attempt by the BBC to move him into what he said was another “ill-defined” role.

In 2011 BBC Washington correspondent Matt Frei left the corporation to join Channel 4 News, as did Newsnight's Jackie Long who became the programme's social affairs editor. 

In 2012 Mason was named RTS specialist journalist of the year.  

According to Channel 4, Mason’s new remit will be “wide and free-ranging from reporting on the cultural life of Britain and the world, to the culture wars and social change which have been unleashed in the past decade with the growth of social media and seemingly endless rolling revolutions and unrest”.

Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear said that Mason "has been a great talent at Newsnight and is a fantastic addition to our on-air team here.

“He beat off considerable competition internally and externally for the post but I believe there is no-one more suitable to take on this exciting and challenging new remit."

Channel 4 head of news and current affairs Dorothy Byrne said: “Paul is a gifted and vastly experienced journalist who has a great track record in scoops, but who is also unafraid to go beyond individual stories and think big about Britain and the world. I have been impressed by his wide-ranging cultural interests which will enable him to chart the cultural and social shifts in Britain for Channel 4 News."

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