Ref NoOHP/105
TitleDerek Brown
DateFebruary 2002-September 2003
Extent1 audio tape, 1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 5 AIFF files (791.6 MB)
Creator NameBrown; Derek A (1947-2011); journalist and writer
DescriptionInterview with Derek Brown, journalist for the Guardian. Conducted by Donald Wintersgill on 3 September 2003. Also includes a data sheet containing biographical details about the subject and information about the recording, notes on the interview and his farewell speech recorded by Leslie Plommer on 21 February 2002.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Tracks 1-3

Track 4
00.40 Before the Guardian, worked for Southport Visiter
00.40 After the first morning at the Visiter, decided he loved it and stayed for three years
02.07 Applied to the Guardian and was interviewed in the corridor
03.26 Geoffrey Taylor phoned Feb 1970 to offer the job of No. 2 in the Leeds district office working with Mike Parkin
04.45 Went to Northern Ireland as back-up when troubles began in early 1971
05.24 Began a five year stint in Ireland from August 1972
06.42 Lessons learnt from Harry Whewell
07.07 Guardian's approach to reporting Northern Ireland
08.16 Most Guardian people were pro-Irish unification
08.16 Talks about the horrors of internment
09.23 How he never met Alastair Hetherington as he had been recruited in the North
09.23 Hetherington visited Northern Ireland

14.05 No-go areas and the practice of tarring and feathering
16.52 Violence and horrid things going on in Northern Ireland
17.52 Reported to Manchester up until 1976
17.52 Relationship between the Manchester and London newsdesks
17.52 Move from Manchester to London

20.30 Guardian of the 1970s was not a serious newspaper, later gained substance and increased circulation
20.30 Changed from always reporting the Manchester cotton prices to a must-read newspaper
22.55 Summer of 1977 moved to Parliament - very constraining and clubbish after Belfast
27.50 In 1979 moves to newsdesk to work with Peter Cole - only time he worked regular hours

Track 5
01.44 Moves to features as a general writer
01.44 Features was more serious then, less concentrated on lifestyle
05.27 1983 becomes a foreign correspondent in Brussels and spent 3.5 years there.
05.27 Difficulty in understanding Eurobabble

10.27 Moves to India for 6 years - the top job in journalism
10.27 Had enormous freedom to roam and freedom from technology
14.44 Dislike of Afghanistan - barbaric but scenically beautiful
19.15 From India to Jerusalem
19.15 Disliked Israel intensely - the country's divided and unhappy

21.00 Easy place to work as a journalist but difficult to write anything which didn't produce howls of anger
22.54 Peter Preston's visit to Israel with the Guild of Newspaper Editors, in '85 or '86
22.54 On Preston's he was told he had lost his job
27.02 Preston, very typically, is still to be seen taking a huge interest in the Guardian

30.40 Summer 1996 was told his services as a foreign correspondent were not required
30.40 Recording ends abruptly
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Tape recording
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Derek Brown

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