George Seldes

Henry George Seldes ( ; November 16, 1890 – July 2, 1995) was an American investigative journalist, foreign correspondent, editor, author, and media critic best known for the publication of the newsletter ''In Fact'' from 1940 to 1950. He was an investigative reporter of the kind known in early 20th century as a muckraker, using his journalism to fight injustice and justify reform.

Influenced by Lincoln Steffens and Walter Lippmann, Seldes's career began when he was hired at the ''Pittsburgh Leader'' at the age of 19. In 1914, he was appointed night editor of the ''Pittsburgh Post''. In 1916, he went to the United Press in London. In 1917, during World War I, he moved to France to work at the Marshall Syndicate, where he was a member of the press corps of the American Expeditionary Force. After the War, Seldes spent ten years as a reporter for the ''Chicago Tribune''. In 1922, he interviewed Vladimir Lenin. He was twice expelled from countries he was reporting from: in 1923 from the Soviet Union, along with three colleagues, for disguising news reports as personal letters, and in 1925 from Italy, for implicating Benito Mussolini in opposition leader Giacomo Matteotti's murder. He would leave the ''Tribune'' when he battled with its owner and publisher, Robert R. McCormick, over the paper altering his 1927 articles on Mexico criticizing the use of their mineral rights by American companies, which he considered to be censorship.

In 1929, Seldes became a freelance reporter and author, subsequently writing a series of books and criticism about his years as a foreign correspondent, and the issues of censorship, suppression and distortion in the press. During the late 1930s he had one more stint as a foreign correspondent, on a freelance basis, in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. In 1940, Seldes co-founded a weekly newsletter, ''In Fact'', where he attacked corporate malfeasance, often using government documents from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He exposed the health hazards of cigarettes and attacked the mainstream press for suppressing them, blaming the newspapers' heavy dependence on cigarette advertising. He cited J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI for anti-union campaigns, and brought attention to the National Association of Manufacturers' use of advertising dollars to produce news stories favorable to its members and suppress unfavorable ones.

Having both staunch admirers and strong critics, Seldes influenced some younger journalists. He received an award for professional excellence from the Association for Education in Journalism in 1980 and a George Polk Award for his life's work in 1981. Seldes also served on the board of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Provided by Wikipedia
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    Published 1985
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    Published 1993
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