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.

chapter |11 pages


Why journalism and Orwell matter

part Part I|55 pages

George Orwell: The activist journalist

chapter 1|18 pages

The myth of freedom

Orwell and the press

chapter 2|16 pages

The lasting in the ephemeral

Assessing George Orwell’s ‘As I Please’ columns

chapter 3|19 pages

Orwell as war correspondent

A reassessment

part Part II|49 pages

Making journalism an art: Literary journalism today

chapter 4|15 pages

Lynn (Demon) Barber

The pleasures and pitfalls of the celebrity profile

chapter 5|20 pages

Lara Pawson’s genre-bending memoir

Gravitas and the celebration of unique cultural spaces

chapter 6|12 pages

John Tulloch

On the importance of mischief-making

part Part III|55 pages

War, peace and the press: Yesterday and today

part Part IV|56 pages

Scoops and spooks: Journalism in an age of surveillance capitalism

chapter 10|24 pages

Journalists and the secret state

chapter 11|15 pages

Targeting Gaddafi

Secret warfare and the media

chapter 12|15 pages

Secrets and lies

On the ethics of conflict coverage