1st Edition

Journalism Beyond Orwell

ISBN 9780367333553
Published February 12, 2020 by Routledge
206 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Journalism Beyond Orwell adapts and updates pioneering work by Richard Lance Keeble to explore George Orwell’s legacy as a journalist in original, critical – and often controversial – ways.

Though best known as the author of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell was, throughout his career, a journalist. The essays in this collection explore Orwell’s important legacy: as a practising activist journalist critical of the dominant media; as a polemicist, essayist and novelist constantly concerned with issues relating to war and peace; as a literary journalist determined to make ‘political writing an art’; and as a writer who warned of the growing powers of the secret state. Through this highly individualistic essay collection that connects Orwellian themes to modern journalism, Richard Lance Keeble explores key topics, including:

  • Orwell the ‘proto-blogger’
  • How Orwell put his political economy critique of the corporate press into practice
  • Information warfare in an age of hyper-militarism
  • The manufacture of the myth of heroic warfare in the reporting of the Afghan conflict
  • The debates over the theory and practice of peace journalism
  • The ethical challenges for journalists reporting on conflict
  • The crucial role of the alternative media
  • The pleasures and pitfalls of the celebrity profile

This collection will be of particular interest to students and researchers in journalism studies, English literature, media, intelligence studies and international relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Why Journalism and Orwell Matter

Part I. George Orwell: The Activist Journalist

Chapter 1. The Myth of Freedom: Orwell and the Press

Chapter 2. The Lasting in the Ephemeral: Assessing George Orwell’s ‘As I Please’ Columns

Chapter 3. George Orwell as War Correspondent: A Re-assessment

Part II. Making Journalism an Art: Literary Journalism Today

Chapter 4. Lynn (Demon) Barber: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of the Celebrity Profile

Chapter 5. Lara Pawson’s Genre-Busting Memoir – Gravitas and the Celebration of Unique Cultural Space

Chapter 6. John Tulloch: On the Importance of Mischief-Making

Part III. War, Peace and the Press: Yesterday and Today

Chapter 7. Information Warfare in an Age of Hyper-Militarism

Chapter 8. Operation Moshtarak and the Manufacture of Credible, 'Heroic' Warfare

Chapter 9. Giving Peace Journalism a Chance

Part IV. Scoops and Spooks: Journalism in an Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Chapter 10. Journalists and the Secret State

Chapter 11. Targeting Gaddafi: Secret Warfare and the Media

Chapter 12. Secrets and Lies: On the Ethics of Conflict Coverage

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Richard Lance Keeble is Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln and Honorary Professor at Liverpool Hope University. Chair of the Orwell Society, he has written and edited 40 books. In addition, he has written more than 50 book chapters and over 30 academic journal articles.


"Richard Keeble is unusual among journalism academics. He thinks like that rare breed of journalist whose work is not subverted by corporatism. With Orwell as a guide, this imaginative, refreshing book illuminates why we should protect the best of our craft." - John Pilger