• ‘Making voices heard …’: index on censorship as advocacy journalism

      Steel, John; University of Sheffield (Sage, 2018-03-14)
      The magazine Index on Censorship has sought, since its launch in 1972, to provide a space where censorship and abuses against freedom of expression have been identified, highlighted and challenged. Originally set up by a collection of writers and intellectuals who were concerned at the levels of state censorship and repression of artists in and under the influence of the Soviet Union and elsewhere, ‘Index’ has provided those championing the values of freedom of expression with a platform for highlighting human rights abuses, curtailment of civil liberties and formal and informal censorship globally. Charting its inception and development between 1971 and 1974, the article is the first to situate the journal within the specific academic literature on activist media. In doing so, the article advances an argument which draws on the drivers and motivations behind the publication’s launch to signal the development of a particular justification or ‘advocacy’ of a left-libertarian civic model of freedom of speech.