Ref NoOHP/95
TitleDan van der Vat
Date15 October 2001
Extent1 audio tape, 1 cd, 1 file, 1 AIFF file (793 MB)
Creator NameWintersgill; Donald; journalist
DescriptionInterview with Dan van der Vat, leader writer for the Guardian. Conducted by Donald Wintersgill on 15 October 2001. Also includes a data sheet containing 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 Introduction
00.05 Employment at the Times and decision to leave
00.45 Declined position on news desk
01.25 Interview with Peter Preston and David McKie
01.50 Offered leader writer position about a year later
02.00 Joining The Guardian and comparison with the Times
05.50 Duties as a leader writer
08.00 Leader writers' conferences

11.10 Ethos of The Guardian
11.40 Discussion between leader writers and Peter Preston
12.30 Discussion about colleagues including Geoffrey Taylor and Peter Cole
12.30 Leader writers typically educated at Oxbridge
16.40 Graduate trainee schemes for journalists
17.15 Leader writers included Geoffrey Taylor, Chris Huhne, John Torrode, Peter Preston, David McKie, Melanie Phillips, Malcolm Dean, and Martin Kettle
19.15 Ethos of the Guardian Trust and journalists aspiring to it
19.15 Discusses journalist sympathies for extreme political groups such as the SDP

23.50 Dispute with Peter Preston about leading article on teaching Latin in schools
27.00 Disagreement with John Cole at the Observer
28.40 Efficiency of Peter Cole as Deputy Editor
29.55 Confusion about system of hierarchy at the newspaper

30.45 Discussion about position of deputy editor and those appointed to the post
32.05 Ethos of the Daily Mail with Mike Randall as Editor
36.25 Reader's Survey of The Guardian in 1980s
37.15 Letters received from readers
38.10 Research, use of cuttings and contacts for writing leaders

40.10 Turned away from leader writing after 6 years
41.40 Anonymity of leader writers
42.00 Leaders on South African Apartheid
43.10 Ethos of The Guardian and Gott's Law (Richard Gott – Features Editor)
47.05 Consistency in reporting by leader writers
49.30 Disagreement with Peter Preston about peace movement

51.05 Quality of writing by leader writers
53.00 Leader writers' favourite topics i.e. Geoffrey Taylor on nuclear power
55.30 Weakness in writing of occasional woolly pieces
56.30 New electronic system at The Guardian
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Tape recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Dan van der Vat

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