Richard J. Aldrich – Renegades and Outriders: The CIA and Journalism

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Event Date: 29 April – 1 May 2011
East Midlands Conference Centre
University of Nottingham  
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RJ



Landscapes of Secrecy: The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory


Professor Richard J. Aldrich (University of Warwick) – Renegades and Outriders: The CIA and Journalism

Despite the prolific press coverage of the intelligence services since 1945, the interaction of the CIA and the media has received little sustained analysis. This paper argues that the relationship between the CIA and the media is long-standing and remarkably close, with its origins lying in the first decade of the Cold War. Initially, many writers and journalist willingly co-operated as ‘outriders’ of the CIA, typically in the expanding realm of cultural warfare. Thereafter, other journalists developed a counter-culture of revelation, focusing the spotlight of investigative journalism upon what they considered to be government renegades. Yet even where the relationship was prickly, there remained an underlying appreciation that the journalism and espionage were cognate activities and shared important professional ethics, including the diligent protection of sources.

Richard J. Aldrich is Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick, and is leading the Warwick component of the Landscapes of Secrecy AHRC project, on the history and historiography of the CIA. He is the author of several books including GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain’s Most Secret Intelligence Agency (2010). Since September 2008, he has been leading a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, entitled: “Landscapes of Secrecy: The Central Intelligence Agency and the Contested Record of US Foreign Policy, 1947–2001”.

Contact details: Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

Email r.j.aldrich@warwick.ac.uk

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