War Correspondents in the Two World Wars- With a foreword by Phillip Knightley
Edited By Yvonne McEwen and Fiona A. Fisken
Patrick S. Washburn George Padmore of the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender
: A Decidedly Dif ferent World War II Correspondent On 31 July 1943, the Pittsburgh Courier ran an eight-column feature story about George Padmore, the paper’s World War II London correspondent since 1941. Noting that readers were constantly asking about his back- ground, it said he had been ‘a colonial expert’ for the Communists in Moscow, where he knew Russian Premier Joseph Stalin; he had a world- wide reputation as ‘a racial zealot’ who vigorously fought imperialism; and he was in the ‘forefront’ of black journalists. ‘In his reporting for Courier readers of world events af fecting colored peoples, he has achieved almost complete objectivity’, the paper continued. ‘He has perfected the knack of embracing in paragraphs of interpretative background data, the significant currents in the advancing social, political and economic trends of colored peoples. He is reporter, writer, analyst and interpreter all heaped into one.’ It concluded by labelling him ‘one of the best informed writers of develop- ments in the present war as they af fect colored races’.1 Such ef fusive praise by the Courier was not surprising. Like all of the black newspapers in the United States, it ignored the white press’ reporto- rial goal of objectivity and instead practiced a powerful form of advocacy journalism, continually mixing straight, factual writing with editorialized comments in news stories. In doing so, it pushed hard for more equality for blacks and more recognition of what they were doing to help win the war, both of which were constant themes in...
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