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Writing on the Move

Albert Londres and Investigative Journalism

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Walter Redfern

Albert Londres (1884-1932) was a much-translated French investigative journalist, distinguished by the application of humour to serious reporting. His journalistic coverage was extremely wide (Europe, Soviet Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa, South America), as were his themes: war, revolution, racism, prison and asylum conditions, the slave trade, colonialism, sport. This study compares and contrasts Londres with other globetrotting reporters from France, Britain and the USA who deal courageously and innovatively with history in the making. The approach is historical, sociological and rhetorical. The author investigates the shifting borderline between journalism and literature and critically examines the numerous clichés about, and by, journalists.
Contents: Investigative journalism – Roving reporter as campaigning social critic – Rhetoric of journalistic discourse – Cross-cultural comparisons of globetrotting reporters – The question of readership – Journalism as literature – The status of journalists – The role of humour in journalism.