Q&A with our FT News Editor

Have you met Tony Tassell at any of our recent South Australia Club events? Tony is a Deputy News Editor at the Financial Times, and a proud South Australian. In our latest feature with South Australia Club members, Tony provides some solid networking advice and an insight into the question on everyone’s lips – who ate all the pies?!

What does a typical day for you involve?

I work in the middle of the newsroom of the FT, helping to run the news operations and the website. I get up at 4.30am and start at 6.30am. I still get a thrill as an Adelaide boy working in the centre of one of the best news organisations in the world. In the last 11 or so years on the main news desk of the FT, I have had a front row seat watching the global financial crisis, the eurozone crisis, three UK elections, three US elections and the Scottish and Brexit referendums. The Brexit drama, as you might expect, has been intense.

How did you begin your career?

I began my career as a copy boy on the Adelaide News. It was very much a pre-computer era with copy still being banged out on typewriters by chain-smoking, hard-drinking hacks that were some of the best journalists I have come across. Lots of great stories.

What’s your connection to South Australia?

It is my home state – I lived in Nepabunna in the Flinders, Glencoe in the South East and Glenelg in Adelaide. Still love Adelaide and the state.

How did you become part of the South Australia Club?

The Club was a recommendation of an old family friend, Leon Bignell, the MP and former Tourism Minister. I was lucky enough to be invited by Leon to meet Bill and colleagues at a Treasury Estates wine tasting.

Favourite South Australian wine?

That is an easy choice – Rockford Basket Press Shiraz. It is an absolute monster of a wine and incredibly good value. It is the wine I have for Christmas lunch every year. I am constantly disappointed that the current trend – particularly in the hipster parts of East London where I live – is the for the thinner, French style of reds. For me, you can’t beat a great McLaren Vale or Barossa red. I regard wines from other states with suspicion.

What do you enjoy most about the South Australia Club?

The chance to meet some extraordinarily interesting people  and to keep in touch with what is going on in my home state. I have been to some really great events.

Who do you think eats all the pies?

I try to.

Best networking advice – to give or have been given?

As a journalist, I have kind of a licence to ask questions. So I like talking to people. Everybody has an interesting story. It is just trying to find it out.

What’s your hidden London gem?

For old school City-style lunches, the Boot and Flogger is a great, atmospheric wine bar down a Southwark side street. A long-time FT favourite. Across the river in the heart of the City, I recommend Sweetings and Simpsons Tavern.