Orwell as war correspondent: a reassessment

Keeble, Richard (2001) Orwell as war correspondent: a reassessment. Journalism Studies, 2 (3). pp. 393-408. ISSN 1469-9699

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14616700119467

Orwell as war correspondent: a reassessment
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This paper examines in detail George Orwell’s reporting assignment on the Continent for The Observer and Manchester Evening News at the end of the Second World War in 1945. The 19 articles are particularly fascinating, since this was the only time Orwell—who by then had made his name as a left-wing polemicist, broadcaster, novelist and journalist—worked as a reporter to strict, regular deadlines for mainstream newspapers. Orwell’s voice emerges as one of vitality and power—but also one that is uncertain and troubled. It is a voice that points ultimately to more general questions: What precisely is a journalist? What is the authentic voice of the genre? How far is the voice addressed to a declared, implicit or idealized audience? The
paper argues that Orwell answered some of these questions through a complex strategy, admitting subjectivity while, paradoxically, aiming for objectivity. Orwell’s relationship to the secret state has become particularly controversial in recent years and a new perspective is
thrown on this aspect of his career in the opening section which looks at the background to the assignment.

Keywords:War reporting, George Orwell, Journalism
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
ID Code:643
Deposited On:22 Jun 2007

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