Glover, Stephen (Charles Morton) 1952-
GLOVER, Stephen (Charles Morton) 1952-
PERSONAL: Born January 13, 1952, in England; son of John Morton (a cleric) and Helen Ruth (Jones) Glover; married Celia Elizabeth Montague, 1982; children: two. Ethnicity: "British." Education: Mansfield College, Oxford, M.A.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Spectator, 56 Doughty St., London WC1N 2LL, England; fax: 0044-1865-511027. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Daily Telegraph, London, England, leader writer and feature writer, 1978-85, "parly sketch" writer, 1979-81; Independent, founder (with Andreas Whittam Smith and Matthew Symonds), 1986, foreign editor, 1986-89, editor of Independent on Sunday, 1989-91; Evening Standard, London, associate editor, beginning 1992; Spectator, London, media columnist. St. Andrews University, visiting professor of journalism, 1992.
MEMBER: Beefsteak Club.
Paper Dreams: The Story of the "Independent" and the "Independent on Sunday," J. Cape (London, England), 1993.
(Editor) Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism, Allen Lane (New York, NY), 1999.
Columnist, Daily Mail.
SIDELIGHTS: In 1985, Stephen Glover was one of three journalists at the London Daily Telegraph who had the idea of founding a new newspaper for their metropolis, one that would be nonpartisan in its politics, modern in its style, traditional in its physical format, and free in its editorial policy. As Glover relates in his memoir, Paper Dreams, the paper they devised was called the Independent. It acquired financing largely through the relentlessness of cofounder Andreas Whittam Smith, who approached bankers with the proposal despite the fact that London already had a crowded newspaper market.
Glover was the foreign editor of the Independent, while the third founder, Matthew Symonds, was deputy editor. Many of the paper's writers were recruited away from the Daily Telegraph, and its department editors had significant control over what was printed. Moreover, the Independent refused to print gossip about the royal family, thus taking a different stance than that taken by many of England's other newspapers.
After a post-launch decline in sales, the Independent quickly restored its fortunes by serializing portions of a best-selling espionage memoir, Peter Wright's Spycatcher, which the British government had attempted to suppress. The paper garnered respect both in England and abroad. Former Independent writer Alexander Chancellor, in a Times Literary Supplement review of Glover's Paper Dreams, remarked that it was predictably named by his American acquaintances as their favorite British newspaper. However, troubles began when the three founders decided to launch a Sunday edition. Appearing just as Britain hit recessionary times, the Independent on Sunday lost money and contributed to an overall decline in the paper's financial stability and perceived stature. Glover, who was the editor of the Sunday edition, was released—betrayed, he felt, by his former partners.
Paper Dreams is Glover's insider account of the Independent's history, from its origin as an idea in the minds of three discontented journalists to the paper's realization. Chancellor, who viewed the Independent as "quite an impressive paper when it came out" and ultimately "a national institution," had himself left the Independent—for the New Yorker—by the time he reviewed Glover's chronicle. He called the book "illuminating," and gave Glover "great credit" for paying "due tribute" to the strengths of Glover's two ex-partners. In particular, the book is a character study of the charismatic, snobbish Smith, fashioned, Chancellor observed, "with the expertise of a person who has made a long and close study of the subject."
A reviewer in the Economist claimed that Glover had tried to mesh two different angles on the story—that of insider gossip, and that of corporate history—without smoothly doing so. Glover had also, that reviewer believed, presented the three founders of the Independent as implausibly amateurish. In short, surmised the writer, Paper Dreams was written because of a "grudge," and was therefore "suspect." The reviewer, however, appreciated the original paper as "high-minded, worthy and earnest." And Chancellor, for his part, rather than disbelieving, was apparently edified and amused by Glover's portrayal of the Independent's founders, as having stumbled their way to the journalistic heights.
Glover is editor of Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism, a collection of articles by twenty-six contributors, including such well-known names as Paul Foot, Petronella Wyatt, Peregrine Worsthorne, Anthony Howard, Alan Clark, and Richard Ingrains. They explore the London newspaper scene and the writers who fill the pages, as well as topics that include war and foreign reporting, interviewing, and censorship.
Peter Stothard wrote in the New Statesman that the volume "is a collection of essays by diverse hands. Glover's aim is to give a sight of what goes on behind the scenes, to let newspaper readers see what newspaper people keep secret. There is an elegant chapter on old Fleet Street from Francis Wheen, some timely warnings about journalists and the law from Richard Ingrams, and a learned article on gossip writers by Peter McKay."
A Contemporary Review critic called "amusing" the article by the Conservative MP Alan Clark, titled "Why I Hold Journalists in Low Regard." The reviewer noted that missing from the book are any references to how journalists come to write for various publications and how much they are paid, but added that "merit, of course, is the only determiner."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Glover, Stephen, Paper Dreams: The Story of theIndependent and the Independent on Sunday, J. Cape (London, England), 1993.
Contemporary Review, April, 2000, review of Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism, p. 224.
Economist, May 22, 1993, review of Paper Dreams, p. 101.
Independent, September 22, 1998, Ian Hargreaves, "Greenslade, Glover and MacArthur—The Three Undertakers," p. S16.
Management Today, September, 1993, Clifford German, review of Paper Dreams, p. 94.
New Statesman, September 27, 1999, Peter Stothard, review of Secrets of the Press, p. 77.
Spectator, October 23, 1999, Keith Waterhouse, review of Secrets of the Press, p. 47.
Times Educational Supplement, October 31, 1986, p. 27.
Times Literary Supplement, May 28, 1993, Alexander Chancellor, review of Paper Dreams, p. 29; November 5, 1999, Karl Millar, review of Secrets of the Press, p. 23.