George Orwell On Journalism #freedomofspeech

Posted: April 11, 2014 in Blogging, Freedom of Speech, Writing
Tags: , ,


I saw this George Orwell quote on twitter ( /via @MrDarrenGormley ) and found it quite resonant.

The PR-ification of journalism has been well-documented already.  But maybe what hasn’t been so well documented, is the lengths to which some journalists are prepared to go these days, to censor what they don’t want ‘printed’ – or in the internet age, spoken, tweeted, blogged, etc.

I know the hoi polloi have stormed the stage now, and that makes some ‘professional’ hacks uncomfortable. But if they don’t want to be just another PR, they should embrace the new world, and what it has to offer in the way of ‘citizen journalism’, ‘feedback’, ‘BTL comments’ and diversity of information and opinion.

And if you’re a journalist reading this and thinking: yes but she’s a troll, she has no right to claim her freedom of speech may be under threat. Her speech is beyond the bounds of decency, morality or some other …ity, then maybe you’re part of the problem I’m talking about.

Those who make a living by writing and speaking should value everyone’s freedom of expression. Even mine.


  1. Henry says:

    “The PR-ification of journalism”

    Very interesting link. I think people are starting to think – more and more- that this is was journalism & research ARE: just choose a side and sling mud at the other side.

    When I point out how biased the Guardian (or any other newspaper) is, people seem not to get it – they say “well whaddya expect?” That bias might be a bad thing – and might distort one’s perception – is slowly forgotten.

    • redpesto says:

      It might be better to be able to recognise and/or counter that ‘bias’ rather than assume that newspapers can/should be unbiased. Fox News in the US claims to ‘fair and balanced’, which only applies if, for example, you can’t spot ‘Republican math.’

  2. 50shadygays says:

    Well said,

    Yet another example of, “professional hacks,” discrediting empirical research and genuine peer review in order to claim public discourse.

    Academics or genuine journalists are the first to be silenced in this bread and circus arena of media distractions. There is only “Private eye,” in the public mainstream which undertakes investigative journalism to any real degree – that I can think of anyway. The rest appears to be a myriad of simulacrum retelling the same pointless narrative.

  3. Laura says:

    Hear hear!

  4. QRG says:

    thanks for the comments everyone. I’m on holiday in France this week, and haven’t even looked at a newspaper! x

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