Luise Fitzwalter describes how Ray Fitzwalter managed World in Action

And then they had an election for the editor of World In Action because there had been trouble – it’s all in Ray’s book. Oh, I don’t think it is, actually. Well, there had been trouble, there had been a rebellion in the ranks about the way they had been treated. So the way to solve this was to have an election for a temporary editor, and he was elected. And they thought they’d got – what did he say – they thought they’d got a short-term replacement, and actually what they got was a long-distance runner. Which, you know, was exactly what happened, and he stayed there of course for years and years. And it was at that point that people like Paul Greengrass came in, and Ray was the editor. I remember World In Action people when I came in 1983, being terrifying. They were very large.

Do you remember that, Steve? Very large.

And it’s all macho as well.

And very macho. I mean, Ray ran this department full of mad dogs, really. And I used to say, “Oh, here’s the mad dogs, and you’re running them on an extremely long leash,” you know? …I mean, the actual team meetings were… haha! I sat in on those team meetings when I was part of the department and I couldn’t believe it! Fortunately, I mean, I think the reason Ray survived so long was because – well, survived until he was kicked out – is because he never got his own ego involved in all that. It was never about him. It was about the programme. And they knew it. So whatever they did to provoke him, he wasn’t provokeable. You know, they’d try; they’d go into his office and smoke, you know, and he’d just say, “Can you put that out please?” knowing that they were doing it deliberately to have a row, but not having one. So that’s how he came to be there.

(It was) Totally competitive. I mean, World In Action, you know, people were pulling everybody else… somebody else’s programme apart. I mean, you had to have nerves of steel.

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