Issue No 45 10—23 July1987
Terence Trent D’arby
4 Terence Trent D’arby
Britain's adopted soul sensation talks to Mab
6 Joseph McKenzie
Revealing the almost-forgotten photographs of this Dundee-based photographer
Amy Hardre The author of Precarious Living talks about her new play .Voah 's Wife to Sarah llemming
Full guide to events this fortnight.
Arts 33‘ Music 25 (‘abaret 17 Open 2() Film 9 Sport 38 Kids 18 Theatre 16
Jedia 32 _ 39 Backnst
Nightlife and (‘lubs Guide Books. plus Glasgow Greasy Caffs
Publisher Robin Ilodge.
Editors Nigel Billen. Sarah 1 lemming. Associate Editor Allan l lunter.
Design Simon listerson. Advertising & Circulation Robin Hodge. Steve McCullough. Sheila Mael.ean . Accounts (ieorgette Renwick. Richard (iray. Typesetting Jo Kennedy and IlewerText. Production Editor Paul Keir. Production Assistant Andrew Young. Art Alice Bain. Books Alan Taylor. Classical Music (‘arol Main. Dance Alice Bani. Film Allan
I lunter. Trevor Johnston. Folk/Jazz Norman Chalmers. Kids Sally Kinnes. Nightlife Stuart Raiker. Open Nigel Billen. ROCK (Edinburgh) Alastair Mabbott. Rock (Glasgow) John Williarrtson. Listen! Alastair Mabbott. John Williamson. Sport Kenny .‘Vtzithieson. Theatre Sarah Ilemming. Camera Iidinburgh Make-up Services. Cover: Terence Trent D‘Arby. Cover Photo: Sheila Rock. Cover Design Nigel Billen. Paul Keir.
Published by The List Ltd. 14 I Iigh Street. Edinburgh. 5581191.
£15 per year. £8 for (i months. payable to The List Ltd.
TRN’S TNT TACTICS Is a great paper in danger? The List reports on the issues behind The Scotsman dispute.
‘l’rovoeative. Informative. Iintertainingf This is the message currently being trundled around Lothian by the Region‘s shoogley double-deckers in the hope that come morning we‘ll read the Scotsman’s Lifestyle page along with the daily pinta.
What more can a body ask from a newspaper"? But if you’re still wavering the ad claims. ‘An issue you can't afford to miss.’ Whether you can afford to or not is presently immaterial. For the past three weeks anyone looking for Lifestyle has had to postpone their search.
Like the rest of the Scotsman's Ill) journalists (and St) on the [fretting News )those charged with stirring tip the apathetic have been on strike and on Tuesday received dismissal notices. The issue it seems riiost of the country can afford to miss is the status of the newspaper sortie 95.0111) Scots apparently take for granted.
For there's been barely a whimper from the paper‘s usual eoterie of tetchy correspondents. Yet today’s Scotsman is a travesty of a ' newspaper. edited and written by superannuated hacks and flung together like a bad ('ubist painting. Articles are largely anonymous and where by-lines do appear some seem to belong to freelancers who submitted pieces in good faith before the present dispute picked up steam or to be the work of blacklegs
Evening News Vpickets outside the Scotsman building.
cowardly hiding behind exotic pseudonyms ( Rory (‘hanoryp I ask you). Only ill the (i/tlsgoti' Hera/r1 did a letter-writer remark on happenings in the east btit he still thought it ‘an informative and readable newspaper.‘
So far. says the spokesman for the (‘aiiadian-based owner's. Thomson Regional newspapers (TRN ). Donald (irant. only l‘).lllltlcopiesof the paper have been lost and those on the night the dispute flared tip. The paper. he added. will continue to appear. with or without the journalists. and since. at the time of writing. there have been no talks for over a week. there seems no prospect ofan early return to normal.
For some time the paper. under the stewardship ofeditor. ('hris Baur'. has been struggling to update its image and keep its most talented writers in the face of tempting offers from rival papers. New technology is an integral part of the plan and it was over payment for its introduction that the present dispute bullied off. Scotsman journalists wanted £15111), in Iirie with colleagues on the Glasgow Hera/(l. TRN offered £l3llll.
Now. however. it’s clear that money is not the root of the trouble. despite recent assertions by Roger Ridley-Thomas (Managing Director of Scotsman Publications) in the newspaper“ itself. Nor are journalists opposed to the new technology. ()n the contrary . those The List spoke to. anticipate it eagerly. But the pay skirmish was on the verge of petering out when the Scotsman management
introduced without warning a
number of wide-ranging changes to journalists’ conditions of employment and made proposals which if implemented would mean the down-grading of the Scotsman to the status of'I'R'N's inferior regional papers like the .‘lherdeen Press and Journal.
llenceforth journalists would be required to work a five day week instead of four and an extra hour and a half each day. All trades union rights are to be withdrawn and NUJ (National Union ofJournalists) membership would no longer be welcomed. Positive discrimination in the recruitment of women ( The Scotsman has only six women journalists) no longer applies and there is now no guarantee that there will be no redundancies resulting from the implementation of new technology.
But perhaps most the sinister aspect of this 'silly season' story is TRN‘s threat to deploy ten Scotsman journalists to other ‘projects' — believed by many to be a down-market Sunday paper — and its insistence that Scotsman journalists should share their copy with other of the group‘s titles. This. journalists feel. would be the thin end ofthe wedge leading to the disbandment of the Scotsman‘s highly-regarded and well-informed team at Westminster and making the Scotsman uncompetitive with its sister papers. The implication is clear: the Scotsman would lose its fragile foothold as a national daily and become a local Edinburgh sheet. a purveyor of job and house ads and little else.
Little wonder Scotsman journalists are demoralised. An appeal has been sent to Lord 'I'homson in Canada. asking him personally to intervene. given his father‘s oft stated commitment to The Scotsman paper of high standards and both national and international aspirations. As TRN‘s ﬂagship paper there is doubt. despite evidence that there are parties interested in making a bid for it. that prospective buyers will be entertained. Donald (irant commented. ‘For there to be a buyer. there has to be a seller.‘ ('ertainly as long as the paper continues to be published. albeit in an emasculated form. the initiative lies with management. Revenue will continue to flow despite promises from various l.abour-controlled local authorities to advertise elsewhere and journalists will begin to feel the pinch when salaries are not banked in the middle of this month.
But whether the dispute goes on indefinitely or ends tomorrow. the resulting mess puts the paper‘s short term and long term future in jeopardy. 'l‘he Scotsman‘s extensive Festival reviews and prestigious Fringe First Awards play an important part in ensuring that talent is discovered in Edinburgh. This has been built tip over many years by Allen Wright. the Arts Editor. who should now be assembling his team for this year. Looking further ahead. the journalists’ unanimous vote of no confidence in their editor will not be set aside easily.
2 The List 111 — 23 July