Ref NoOHP/83
TitleEric Silver
Date27 June 2003
Extent1 minidisc,1 cd, 1 file, 4 AIFF files (839.5 MB)
Creator NameSilver; Eric (1935-2008); journalist and writer
DescriptionInterview with Eric Silver, journalist for the Guardian. Conducted by Leslie Plommer on 27 June 2003. Also includes a data sheet containg biographical details about the subject and information about the recording and notes on the interview.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1
Track 1
00.00 Airport massacre in Jerusalem
01.25 Munich Olympics
01.50 Foreign press contingent
03.35 'everything changed after the Yom Kippur war of 1973'

Track 2
00.21 War changed the entire reporting on Israel
01.10 Became difficult to cover the Israeli conflict due to demands upon his time and energy
01.40 Received telegrams from The Observer saying his story had been squeezed out
02.20 The Observer often commissioned more than they had room for
02.50 After the Yom Kippur war it was quite tough keeping both papers happy

10.00 Example of military censorship

Track 3
00.40 June 1977
02.40 Americans didn't know who this Begin was
03.40 Big change in settlement, which all had to be documented
04.00 Sadat's initiative - 'something quite extraordinary'
04.15 Saved by subs after writing sceptical and scathing article about Begin and Sadat.
05.04 'Begin was a fascinating figure'
06.45 Flew on the first civilian plane from Israel to Egypt for the 'Mena House' talks in Dec 1977
08.27 Opportunities to go to Oman and Jordan
09.00 Loved this 'opening up of the Arab world'
09.35 Main roles as Middle East correspondent

10.42 Mentions past history as a labour correspondent
12.40 Lebanon war of 1982, mentions Sharon
14.21 Had to use escorts when crossing borders
15.17 Witnessed the PLOs evacuation of Beirut and filed a story to The Observer
19.10 David Hirst mentioned briefly

21.00 Took many photographs documenting everyday life in Cairo
21.40 Opening up of Jordan
21.50 Hundreds of thousands of Israelis flocked to Egypt once the borders opened
23.30 Growth of cherries in Lebanon
24.10 The 'good fence' where Lebanese were crossing over to work in Israel
24.50 Curiosity factor became much stronger with Egypt and Jordan
25.15 Reverberations of the 1982 war
26.10 Approached to write a biography of Begin in the early 1990s
28.00 Opinion as to whether Sharon manipulated Begin

Track 4
00.00 Observer realised after Lebanon war, they needed their own middle east correspondent
00.30 Guardian ready to move him and he wanted a change
03.11 Time spent as one of the foreign news editors
03.35 Nice to be in an office, but hard working to schedules and constrictions of office life
04.25 Worked with Martin Woollacott, Jonathan Steele, Nick Dallman.
04.50 Off to India
05.00 Peter Preston asked if he wanted to go to Moscow
05.20 India and South East Asia
07.15 Covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal on a regular basis
08.25 Martin Woollacott gave him books and recommended things to read
08.55 Lived the expatriate life much more than when in Israel

10.17 Indian armies invasion of the Golden temple compound
10.37 Spent a lot of time in Sri Lanka
11.37 Turmoil in Bangladesh and Pakistan, election and royal visit to Nepal
15.15 Recalls how a story about a hijack on a plane was lost due to a breakdown in communications
19.50 Felt that had reached the end of the road with the Guardian

21.09 Given nice farewell party in the boardroom
22.40 End of Guardian career - March 1987
23.00 Employed ever since. Kept a lot of balls in the air
24.00 Donald Trelford
24.50 Recruited on contract for 'the European' for the four years that it existed
25.25 Still writes for the Statesman of Calcutta
25.32 Now on a contract with the Jewish Chronicle and a stringer for the Independent
26.00 When first posted to Israel the Guardian were very mean with expenses
26.30 Persuaded the chapel and the paper to classify foreign correspondents as specialists
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Eric Silver

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