Ref NoOHP/30/6
TitleJulian Borger
Date2 June 2003
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 2 AIFF files (278.7 MB)
Creator NameBorger, Julian; journalist
DescriptionInterview with Julian Borger, Guardian Washington correspondent. Conducted by Leslie Plommer on 2 June 2003. This interview is part of a series of interviews with Guardian staff who covered the Iraq War of March-April 2003. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.09 Introductions. Covered Iraq War from America
00.35 Disbelief in Britain that war would take place. Different view in America
01.25 Inevitability of conflict
01.50 British support for America. Endorsement of Tony Blair
02.35 Different styles of George W Bush and Tony Blair. Legacy of Second World War
03.20 Recovery of special relationship following Vietnam War – ‘the wrong war’
03.50 British support of Iraq War essential in shaping American attitudes
04.00 Being a British reporter in Washington
04.50 Colin Powell as a spokesperson corresponding with the foreign press
05.05 Whitehouse and Pentagon officials unlikely to talk to the Guardian
06.00 American views of the Guardian
06.20 The run up to the war
06.55 Coverage of the war once it started
07.05 Guardian given access to Pentagon. Difficulty to access independent reports
07.55 Differences between American and British military spokespersons
08.15 Typical day of war coverage. Monitoring news outlets. Spending time in the Pentagon
09.55 Lack of negative reports to come from the Pentagon

10.15 Remembers army briefings. Upset of army general over army set up
11.45 Questions over the future of the US military
12.00 Guarding of information
12.28 More information available on the ground
12.50 Unable to make phone calls from the Pentagon. Logistical difficulties faced
14.50 Discussion of Donald Rumsfeld sessions, briefings from the US defence secretary
16.00 Bemusement at presence of British journalist
16.30 Development of coverage. How he saw Washington’s role in Guardian coverage
17.25 ‘Night duty’ of Washington coverage. Differences in time zones
18.18 Being a British man in Washington at that time. Private dismay seen against build up to war. Did not come across to US audiences
19.52 Socialising difficult due to hours of the Pentagon

20.35 Time spent with American journalists. Many became 'Pentagon loyalists'. Journalists reflecting the institution they serve in
22.00 Being ‘embedded’ in Washington

Track 2
00.10 Lessons to be learnt from his coverage
00.47 Need for someone to be permanently embedded in the Pentagon
01.19 Need for a journalist on the ground. To be embedded with American military
02.10 Interest in the daily life of the American military
03.00 Discussion of Audrey Gillan’s coverage of everyday life of the British military
03.20 The military speaking uncensored. Gives different view of war
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Minidisc recording
Printed document
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Julian Borger

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