Wapping: legacy of Rupert’s revolution | Business | The Observer
The ban on journalists using modern computer technology was far from the only absurdity in pre-Wapping newspapers. For most of the 20th century, Fleet Street had been a microcosm of all that was worst about British industry: pusillanimous management, pig-headed unions, crazy restrictive practices, endless strikes and industrial disruption, and archaic technology. If British unions were then (rightly) regarded as the worst in the western world, then Fleet Street’s print unions were the unchallenged worst of the worst.
Wapping changed all that. In the process it saved the British newspaper industry. If Fleet Street had staggered to the end of the last century with pre-Wapping, absurdly high labour costs, world-beating low productivity, antediluvian technology and the industrial relations of the madhouse, then probably only a handful of papers would have survived – concentrated in Rupert Murdoch’s News International and Lord Rothermere’s Associated.