The Lost Tribe of Fleet Street
Whatever happened to the labour and industrial correspondents?
Edited by Nicholas Jones Published March 2011
The Lost Tribe of Fleet Street records the exploits of the Labour and Industrial Correspondents' Group, a once elite and prolific band of journalists whose demise has passed by almost unnoticed. The Labour governments of Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan were their heyday when trade union influence was at its highest. Reporters well versed in the affairs of the wider labour movement were able to elbow aside political correspondents and gain direct access to Prime Ministers and their Cabinets. Margaret Thatcher's Premiership, although a decade of catastrophic defeat for the unions, was another headline-grabbing era for journalists on the industrial beat. But the growth of the City of London as a world financial centre finally put paid to the authoritative reporting of old. In recent years business news has ruled supreme and now dominates the way the fortunes of Britain's major employers - and their employees - are reported by press, radio, television and now the internet. A hostile take-over bid or volatility in exchange rates and share prices is far more likely to capture the attention of the news media than an in depth examination of a pay dispute or the impact plant closures and redundancies.
Contributors include Geoffrey Goodman, former Daily Mirror industrial editor, Nicholas Jones, former BBC Radio labour correspondent, John Lloyd, former Financial Times labour editor and Stefan Stern, former Financial Times management columnist.