Ref NoOHP/58
TitleNick Mason
Date23 October 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 4 AIFF files (643 MB)
Creator NameMason; Nicholas (1938-); journalist and sports historian
DescriptionInterview with Nick Mason, deputy sports editor for the Guardian. Conducted by Matthew Hancock on 23 October 2001. 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

Track 2
00.00 Introductions

Track 3
00.05 Joined early January 1988 - previously worked for London Daily News.
00.10 Heard about the vacancy in the Sports dept. through Met Frank Keating
00.50 Worked under Mike Averis
01.30 First impression of job - 'hell of a long week'
03.00 Thought of Guardian as a pleasant place to work.
04.05 Approx 6 subs on sports desk each night
05.30 Number of pages produced
06.15 Describes a normal day on the sports desk
07.30 'Space Conference' at 3:15 each day to finalise how many sports pages there would be
07.30 After conference would sketch layouts before the subs came in
09.00 Subs in at 3ish. His role was to design/re-designpages and layouts

10.30 Mike Averis was interested in what was exciting that day.
11.00 Talks about balance of finding news/using wires
12.45 Robert Armstrong, rugby correspondent - very good at digging up stories
13.00 Finding a 'news' story became much more important when sport 'got the back page'
14.50 Philosophical argument: which was the first sports page?
15.30 Big stories he was involved with - pages/copy had to be readjusted
18.30 Conflict between news and sports desks over stories - e.g. was Hillsborough tragedy news or sports?

23.00 Difficulties of having sports stories moved to main pages at the last minute
23.20 When Averis out of the office, he became sports editor
25.30 Change in the direction of the sports pages during his tenure
27.30 Paper has to focus more on football now

30.30 Used to be a Thursday morning sports pull-out - never thought it worked very well
32.00 The Guardian understood the importance of the sports section, and gave it sufficient pages/budget

Track 4
00.00 Relationship between Mason & Averis was generally good
01.00 When Averis decided not to be editor for a short time during Barcelona Olympics
03.45 Working on sports pages during major events i.e. Olympics, World Cups
06.15 Technical side of putting a paper together, changes in software and in processes
06.15 Systems changing just as he was arriving - ATEX was being used, but not to put together whole pages

12.30 Biggest problems he experienced seemed to be mostly technical
16.20 What brought him the most happiness at the paper
18.30 Favourite writers: David Lacey, John Rodda, Frank Keating, Matthew Engel, and Stephen Bierly

22.30 Changes since leaving in 1999
24.30 Guardian's sports section compared to those in other papers
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Nick Mason

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