The State of Us

The State of Us

The good news and the bad news about our society


It is rare in history that so many nations in the developed world are in crisis at the same time. There has been a disintegration of trust in political leaders and in the media that holds them to account. For all the progress humankind has made, for all the inventions and new technologies, our society is being undermined by inequality. We should care not simply because of its impact on productivity and growth, but because it's wrong. It's wrong that some don't have enough money to eat whilst others fly wagyu beef halfway across the planet for a couple of amusing mouthfuls. It's wrong that there are council residents unable to safely escape their homes if they catch fire. To fix it, we must begin by seeking out the truth about our world.

In The State of Us, Jon Snow traces how the life of the nation has changed across his five-decade career, from getting thrown out of university for protesting apartheid to interviewing every prime minister since Margaret Thatcher. In doing so, he shows how the greatest problems at home and abroad so often come down to inequality and an unwillingness to confront it. But that is not our fate. Despite the challenges, Snow has witnessed profound social progress. In this passionate rallying cry, he argues that at its best, journalism reflects not just who we are now, but who we can be. We've had enough of division; the future is for us.


  • A call to arms from one of the great television journalists of his generation
    Robert McCrum

About the author

Jon Snow

One of the nation's pre-eminent broadcasters, Jon Snow was the face of Channel 4 News from 1989 to 2021. In that time, he has reported in dozens of countries, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Barack Obama's inauguration, interviewing countless world leaders including Ronald Reagan, Idi Amin, Tony Blair, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nelson Mandela, as well as cultural icons from Malala Yousafzai to Marcus Rashford. His many awards include a BAFTA fellowship, the Richard Dimbleby BAFTA award for Best Factual Contribution to Television (2005), and Royal Television Society awards for Journalist of the Year (2005 & 2006) and Presenter of the Year (2009 & 2010 and 2012). He collected the BAFTA award for news coverage for the 2011 Channel 4 News' coverage of the Japanese tsunami, and delivered the prestigious MacTaggart Lecture at Edinburgh's International Television Festival in 2017. He is the author of two books, Shooting History and The State of Us.
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