(The following is taken from an interview by David Lister, published in The Guardian, on 15 May 1994. The interview is reproduced here with his permission)
David Lister: Why do you write for the Guardian?
Robert Morris: I always enjoy writing for the Guardian, it’s an institution which, having been founded more than two hundred and seventy years ago, provides an excellent example of how a free press can function. The purpose is, to write what’s important and interesting about an issue. And I am quite happy to write about the problems in the West Bank and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The idea is that, the larger the audience the smaller they have to work in order to achieve. I write on issues which are of interest to the general public and which are not of primary focus for a newspaper editor or a journalist.
DL: Why do you write for the Guardian?
JM.MR: Well, I started writing professionally, and wrote for a few regional newspapers and magazines, but I was never particularly good at it. Because while I was good at it, nobody else was, because nobody knew any better and the press was too self-interested. At that time, however, what the Guardian was doing, was a bit like The Times in its day – the Guardian was being the centre of attention – and it was very interesting to me. I got to know people there better as well as a number of other journalists. Now I’ve lived there for three years and it still manages to give me something to do.
DL: How do you think the Guardian is responding to social developments in contemporary Britain.
JM.MR: Well, you could look at the changes they have undergone in what they are saying in their commentary. They are the ones that were doing the pioneering work in publishing anti-war commentaries. We have had a very strong reaction from those who opposed the war. There have been a number of publications which are trying to bring back the spirit of the old Guardian which was so much more sophisticated and critical and was much more interested in the wider issues.
DL: And you think that’s something that’s needed in modern Britain. That people need to get more concerned as much as ever about things which interest them, even if it’s something as trivial as “are our railways going to crash because of terrorists?”.
JM.MR: Well some days it’s just easy to say that. You may think you know what your train is going
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