Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Book reviews

  • Broadcasting Britain- 100 years of the BBC

    Broadcasting Britain- 100 years of the BBC

    The Chartered Institute of Journalists has never been in any doubt about the importance and significance of the BBC and its history. We are the oldest established professional association of journalists in the world and we were first established in 1884. 38 years later in 1922 one of our Fellows, Arthur Burrows, was the BBC’s…

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  • News and How To Use It by Alan Rusbridger

    This book is described as an A-Z guide on how ‘to stay informed in the era of fake news’ and has been written by the Guardian’s former Editor-in-Chief who currently edits Prospect Magazine. Alan Rusbridger held the Guardian editor’s tiller for twenty years between 1995 and 2015. He is something of a polymath. Between the…

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  • Growing Out in the Swinging Sixties by Barbara Blake Hannah

    Barbara Blake Hannah was Britain’s first black woman television news reporter on Thames Television in the 1960s. She was harassed and thwarted by racism. She decided to leave Britain to return to her native Jamaica to enjoy a more congenial career in promoting the island’s film industry. In Jamaica for the fifty years that followed…

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  • The War Against The BBC- last chance W1A Bistro or a perennial trope?

    Sir Allen Lane and his brothers developed Penguin in 1935 to produce intelligent books that could be bought at train stations for the price of a packet of cigarettes and so portable they could drop out of vending machines. The iconic paperback imprint has continued the tradition of publishing ‘specials’ that run arguments for their…

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  • George Orwell, The Secret State and the Making of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’- understanding ‘a literary journalist.’

    George Orwell has become a touchstone for most contemporary journalists writing features connected with anything that could be described as Orwellian. A Google search of the adjective yields 2,540,000 results. The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia explains the word ‘describes a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of…

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  • UK journalism law’s ‘bible’ reaches its 25th edition in an age of less media freedom than its first.

    This remarkable journalism law text book first appeared in 1954 and was written by the late Leonard McNae, who was editor of the Press Association’s Special Reporting Service. The 25th edition has been co-written by the Press Association’s retiring legal editor Mike Dodd and Mark Hanna who this year has also retired from his position…

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  • Breakthrough in Institute campaign to end absolute exclusion of access to security body historical archives

    There’s been a breakthrough in the Chartered Institute of Journalists’ campaign to end absolute exclusion of access to security body historical archives. This follows a full First Tier Tribunal Information Right appeal launched and advocated by Institute President Professor Tim Crook attended by general secretary Dom Cooper on January 21st 2020. Professor Crook wants access…

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  • Before Spin

    Before Spin

    by Keith McDowall published by Melrose Books, 385pp, £16.99 When I joined the Government Information Service (GIS in 1964, Keith McDowall was the Daily Mail’s Industrial Editor. I first came across him when I was working in the Press Office of the newly formed Ministry of Technology the following year. But Keith was to have…

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  • Mr Churchill’s Driver – A murderer’s story

    The cover notes for this intriguing novel compare the author, Colin Farrington, to Peter Ackroyd or Ian McEwan. This is unfair to all three. Farrington’s talent is sufficiently distinctive to be judged on its own merits. Like many subscribers to The Journal I am a fast reader. On holiday I can gallop through a paperback…

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  • Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil

    “Sigil. Pronounced ‘sijil’. An inscribed or painted symbol or occult sign considered to have magical power.” So begins the very latest Sherlock Holmes mystery and adventure from the pen of Institute member, Tim Symonds: a writer who has immersed himself in the drama and legend of England and the Empire’s greatest detective; and, through his…

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