”The logical goal of modern journalism” (Orwell)

A Kind of Compulsion, The Complete Works, vol. X, artikel 80, s. 119-121.

Den första text Orwell publicerade i engelsk press var en rapport om ny tidning i Paris (där Orwell/Blair vid denna tid bodde). Texten (”A Farthing Newspaper”)  publicerades i G.K.’s Weekly (G.K. Chesterton) den 29 december 1928.

Det märkliga med tidningen Ami du Peuple var att den nästintill var gratis. Den skröt med att dess syften var nobla: ägarna (anonyma) tömmer sina fickor i kampen mot de stora trusterna och de etablerade tidningarna som begränsar yttrandefriheten.

Orwell reder dock ut vilka industrimän som står bakom satsningen, och eftersom det står klart att syftet inte är rent filantropiskt uppkommer frågan om deras investering ger avkastning (i vid mening).

Since the the march of progress is going in the direction of always bigger and nastier trusts, any departure is worth noticing which brings us nearer to that day when the newspaper will be simply a sheet of advertisement and propaganda, with a little well-censored news to sugar the pill. It is quite possible that the Ami du Peuple exists on its advertisements, but it is equally possible that it makes only an indirect profit, by putting across the sort of propaganda wanted by M. Coty and his associates. In the above mentioned manifesto, it was declared that that the proprietors might rise to an even dizzier height of philantropy by giving away the Ami du Peuple free of charge. This is not so impossible as it may sound. I have seen a daily paper (in India) which was given away for free for some time with apparent profit to its backers, a ring of advertisers who found a free newspaper to be a cheap and satisfactory means of blowing their own trumpet. Their paper was rather above the average Indian level, and it supplied, of course, just such news as they themselves approved, and no other. That obscure Indian paper forecast the logical goal of modern journalism.

[…]

Många av de etablerade tidningarna känner redan av konkurrensen.

In the end, they will presumably either be destroyed, or they will survive by imitating the tactics of Ami du Peuple. Hence every paper of this kind, whatever its intensions, is the enemy of free speech.

Projekt: The Complete Works of George Orwell

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