Why did Edwardian novelists portray journalists as swashbuckling, truth-seeking super-heroes whereas post-WW2 depictions present the journalist as alienated outsider? Why are contemporary fictional journalists often deranged, murderous or intensely vulnerable? As newspaper journalism faces the double crisis of a lack of trust post-Leveson, and a lack of influence in the fragmented internet age, how do cultural producers view journalists and their role in society today?
In The Journalist in British Fiction and Film Sarah Lonsdale traces the ways in which journalists and newspapers have been depicted in fiction, theatre and film from the dawn of the mass popular press to the present day. The book asks first how journalists were represented in various distinct periods of the 20th century and then attempts to explain why these representations vary so widely. This is a history of the British press, told not by historians and sociologists, but by writers and directors as well as journalists themselves. In uncovering dozens of forgotten fictions, Sarah Lonsdale explores the bare-knuckled literary combat conducted by writers contesting the disputed boundaries between literature and journalism. Within these texts and films there is perhaps also a clue as to how the best aspects of `Fourth estate' journalism can survive in the digital age.
Authors covered in the volume include: Martin Amis, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Pat Barker, Evelyn Waugh, Elizabeth Bowen, Arnold Wesker and Rudyard Kipling. Television and films covered include House of Cards (US and UK versions), Spotlight, Defence of the Realm, Secret State and State of Play.
Sarah Lonsdale is a Lecturer in Journalism at City University London, UK. She is also a journalist with twenty five years experience and contributes to the Sunday Times and Telegraph.
Epigraph Acknowledgements Introduction: A Century of Guarding the Guardians Chapter One: Edwardian journalist-heroes at the birth of the popular press Chapter Two: Dispatches from the trenches: poets as war correspondents Chapter Three: `The interview with the cat had been particularly full of appeal': The interwar `Battle of the Brows' from below Chapter Four: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Hack: journalism and espionage in a time of war 1933 - 1979 Chapter Five: `I call my cancer - the main one in my pancreas - Rupert': The Press Baron from Northcliffe to Murdoch Chapter Six: `A journalist's finished at forty, of course': Alienation, disenchantment, irrelevance in the Age of Anxiety Chapter Seven: From plucky pioneers to dish bitches: the `problem' of women journalists Chapter Eight: `Now we don't even have anyone in fucking Manchester': Falling apart in the `Last Chance Saloon' Conclusion: `People should probably have newsprint on their hands when they read it': imagining journalism in the internet age in Britain and the US Bibliography Index