Ref NoOHP/96
TitleAlan Watkins
Date23 November 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 2 cds, 2 AIFF files (960.8 MB)
Creator NameWatkins; Alan Rhun (1933-2010); journalist; political columnist
DescriptionInterview with Alan Watkins, journalist for the Observer. Conducted by Jo Pugh on 23 November 2001.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.25 Started work at the Observer in 1976, after previously working at the New Statesman and the Spectator
01.04 Discussions with Donald Trelford and John Cole before joining the Observer
02.00 Worked on the political column and political news sections
02.50 Began work in the Times building, St Andrews Hil, London
03.30 Effect of move from Tudor Street offices
04.00 The working week at the Observer
05.30 Introduction of 'intermedia techonology' in 1980s
06.10 Women working at the Observer. Remembers Katharine Whitehorn, Miriam Gross and other female colleagues
06.55 Friendly with Terry Kilmartin, the inventor of the broadsheet literary page
07.29 David Astor left the Observer before he arrived
08.20 Moved to Battersea offices in 1988
08.30 His involvement in the libel case with Michael Meacher MP

11.35 *
19.15 Discussion of staff including Trelford and Tony Howard
19.36 *
19.45 Had worked with Howard at the New Statesmen

21.01 Never became a newspaper editor
21.39 Discussion of newspaper trade unions
22.15 Discussion of Battersea offices
23.40 Changes at the Observer during this period
25.10 Poor quality of pubs in Battersea
25.55 Observer bought by the Guardian in 1993
25.59 Began work at the Independent on Sunday after 17 years service at the Observer
26.30 Leaving the Observer
27.20 Discussion of pay
27.35 Succession of Jonathan Fenby as editor of the Observer
28.20 Continues discussion of pay rises
29.00 *

30.20 Accepted role at the Independent
31.15 Leaving the Observer
37.20 *

41.05 Reputation of the Observer constrasted with the Guardian
41.30 Contrasting the Guardian and the Times
43.05 Love affair between Colin Welch and Kate Wharton, wife of Michael Wharton, who wrote for the Telegraph under the pseudonym Peter Simple
43.56 What he thinks of the Observer today
44.30 Relations between Andrew Rawnsley and Andrew Jaspen
Access StatusOpen(part)
Access ConditionsRestricted - access to edited copy via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Alan Watkins

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