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THE RADICAL TYPE?

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Abstract:

Despite the central role of the paper in Marxist–Leninist strategy, the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) had little confidence in either professional journalists, including those who were Communists, or journalism practices, even though journalism, like culture, was recognized as “a weapon in the (class) struggle”. While George Allen Hutt (1901–73) was a leading professional party journalist, his career hit a “glass ceiling”, even as he met the three criteria of Communist journalism theory and earned an international reputation as a newspaper designer. In spite of opposition to his role on the executive of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) because of his party membership, he became the longest-serving editor of the NUJ's periodical, The Journalist. As both a loyal, lifetime Communist and the consummate professional journalist, Hutt's career provides a salient example of the ambiguous position of the middle-class journalist in the proletarian-dominated Communist Party. It was the emphasis on his “technical” ability that appears to have disqualified his candidacy for the Daily Worker's top editorial positions and to have justified support for his editorship of The Journalist.
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