Paul Anderson was born in Edinburgh in 1959, grew up in Ipswich and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford (1978-81) and journalism at the London College of Printing (1982-83). Since then he has worked as a journalist, author, academic and publisher.
He spent most of the 1980s and 1990s working for periodicals, starting out on the London listings magazine City Limits. After brief sojourns on various entertainment titles, he was in succession deputy editor of European Nuclear Disarmament Journal (1984-87), reviews editor (1986-91) and then editor (1991-93) of the political weekly Tribune, deputy editor of New Statesman & Society (1993-96), news editor of the monthly Red Pepper (1997-99) and deputy editor of the monthly New Times (1999-2000).
During this period, as well as commissioning copy and doing production work, he wrote hundreds of news stories, feature articles and leader columns (mainly on British politics and society and international affairs) and reviewed theatre and books on history, politics, media and culture. He edited (with Mary Kaldor) a collection of essays on the 1986 American raid on Libya, Mad Dogs: The US raid on Libya (Pluto, 1986) and was co-author (with Nyta Mann) of a widely praised account of the background to Tony Blairs new government in 1997, Safety First: The Making of New Labour (Granta,1997).
He joined The Guardian as a part-time sub-editor in 2000 and is still there. He has worked on several different desks over the years preparing copy for print and online publication, but is currently mainly on the comment, leaders and letters pages. He wrote a column for Tribune from 1998 to 2014 and continues to work as a freelance feature-writer and editor for various publications.
He compiled and edited a book of George Orwells columns for Tribune, Orwell in Tribune: 'As I Please' and Other Writings (Politico's/Methuen, 2006), and in 2012 set up a small digital publishing company, Aaaargh! Press, among whose titles is his latest book (co-authored with Kevin Davey), Moscow Gold? The Soviet Union and the British Left (2014). He is currently working on a companion volume on the impact of Chinese communism in Britain. The latest Aaargh! Press title, Kevin Davey's novel Playing Possum, was shorlisted for the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize.
He has taught journalism since 1986, initially working odd days as a visiting lecturer (mostly at the London College of Printing, now part of University of the Arts London) then from 2000 to 2011 as a member of staff at City University London, where he was course director of the Journalism and a Social Science BA programme from 2003 and set up a single honours Journalism BA in 2006-07.
At City he taught a wide variety of subjects, among them history of journalism, government and politics, ethics, the media industry, news reporting, feature-writing, sub-editing and production for print and online. He left City to go freelance but returned as a visiting lecturer in 2011-12, then joined Brunel University in 2012 as a visiting lecturer, where he taught history of journalism, politics and law to undergraduates and postgraduates.
He joined the University of Essex in 2014 to help set up the BA Multimedia Journalism programme, on which he currently teaches. He is also an external examiner at Leeds Beckett University and a member of the editorial board of the journal George Orwell Studies.
BA (Oxon) Politics, Philosophy and Economics (1981)
National Council for the Training of Journalists certificate (1983)