Ref NoOHP/97
TitleBill Webb
Date15 April 1998
Extent1 audio tape, 1 cd, 1 file, 1 AIFF file (793 MB)
Creator NameWebb; William Leslie; journalist
DescriptionInterview with Bill Webb, journalist for the Guardian. Conducted by Leslie Plommer on 15 April 1998. 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
00.45 1951, on vacation from Trinity College, Dublin. Father suggests he ask the Guardian if they have any 'odd jobs' 00.45 News editor Paddy Monkhouse was looking for someone from Dublin so he was offered the job
00.45 First story he wrote was about a Mancunian organist
03.00 Continued to work for the Guardian whilst on vacation and offered a full-time job at the Guardian in 1955
04.00 Early years at the Guardian
05.25 1955-56 changes within the Guardian reflecting changes in Britain
05.25 Suez crisis marked a turning point in Britain, new slogan 'new Guardian, new world, new politics'
07.36 Unlike other papers as it did not write exclusively about London
09.00 Perceived as an amateur paper as it had young journalists
09.00 Other newspapers described Guardian journalists as 'naïve'

11.30 Guardian paid notoriously low wages
11.30 Senior politician John Strachey asked to write columns for only 16 guineas, late 1950s
13.00 The Bloomsbury set in Manchester
13.00 Most of the journalists had houses near each other and how their wives were all friends
15.00 Guardian looking at 'other England'
19.28 Arts page invented in 1957 in an attempt to bring more coherence to the arts coverage.
19.28 Twice a week there were two long pieces about composers, etc.
19.28 Women's page also developed at this time

21.00 Envy from other newspapers - Guardian journalists looked like they were having such a good time
22.00 More about the arts, 'lively minds read the Guardian' became the slogan of the 1960s
24.00 Other arts journalists
26.00 Changes in the Guardian throughout the years, more 'grown-up' style of writing
26.00 History became important again. Looking to Eastern Europe for literary inspiration

31.00 Going overseas in the name of journalism - first trip to Prague
34.00 Going to Germany where he is tear gassed during a riot

41.00 First Booker prize takes place at a cocktail party in November 1968
42.30 Guardian fiction prize was his idea, later known as the writers prize
46.07 Brought on board more novelists, the more eccentric the better
46.07 Arts focus now on history and politics
49.58 Salman Rushdie, his writing was exciting

50.40 The Rushdie fall-out and why Rushdie stopped writing for the paper

66.50 Guardian featured writers who wrote about 'odd things'

70.30 How the Guardian has changed through the years
70.30 The 'sameness' of all the broadsheets down to the increased competition
70.30 Guardian has lost its 'individual character' and is over organised
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Tape recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Bill Webb

Show related Persons records.

    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024