British News Media and the Spanish Civil War

British News Media and the Spanish Civil War: Tomorrow May Be Too Late

David Deacon
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r1xhc
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  • Book Info
    British News Media and the Spanish Civil War
    Book Description:

    The most extensive and detailed analysis of the reporting of the Spanish Civil War ever undertaken.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3155-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Henry Buckley
  4. 1 An Emblematic Editorial
    (pp. 1-12)

    The subtitle of this book is taken from an editorial published by the News Chronicle on 19 January 1937 about the Spanish Civil War. The article occupied most of the fifth page of the paper and under its headline, ‘TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE’, was a map of the Iberian peninsular, North Africa, Western France and Southern Britain superimposed with a photograph of a derangedlooking Adolf Hitler. The caption underneath invited readers to ‘[i]magine a regime benevolent to Hitler and Mussolini on the Spanish mainland, in the Balearics, in Spanish Morocco, in the Canaries, in Rio de Oro’.

    The article...

  5. 2 The Ground Rules – Republican and Nationalist International News Management
    (pp. 13-44)

    The Spanish Civil War was a domestic conflict in name only. It attracted the attentions and interventions of many foreign governments, political parties, activists, workers, artists and intellectuals, most of whom engaged in propagandistic activity intended to influence attitudes, policies and outcomes related to the war. I examine some of this activity in a British context in Chapter 5 but the discussion here focuses solely on the propaganda of the local combatants in Spain. This is because, for all the geopolitical significance of the war, it is appropriate to conceive of the local antagonists as both the principal sources and...

  6. 3 Eyewitnesses and ‘I’ Witnesses – Journalists in Spain
    (pp. 45-67)

    War begets many things, among them journalist memoirs. In this respect, the Spanish Civil War was a paradigm case. Dozens of European and North American journalists who reported the war described their experiences in book form, many of which were published before the war ended. This professional literature offers an obvious resource for the subject matter of this chapter, which is an exploration of the activities, experiences and perceptions of the foreign journalists who reported directly on the events in Spain as the civil war unfolded. But what status should we attribute to these sources of evidence?

    In an introduction...

  7. 4 ‘The Aliveness of Speaking Faces’ – Women Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War
    (pp. 68-80)

    This chapter extends the analysis of journalists in Spain to examine the role, experiences and distinctive contributions made by women correspondents in the reporting of the war. This might seem a strange aspect to elaborate upon as women were a small minority in the international press corps that covered the war and none commanded much status within their organisations. Women correspondents represented just ten percent of the total number of British and North American journalists I have identified as having reported from Spain during the war.

    It could be argued that it is this atypicality which makes these journalists such...

  8. 5 Rear-Guard Reactions – Governmental and Commercial Influence on Spanish Civil War Reporting in Britain
    (pp. 81-113)

    Foreign news in any national context is always viewed through the prisms of local interest and local interests – that is, judgements as to whether distant events are relevant to domestic audiences, and, if they are, which definitions dominate and in whose interests.

    In the context of a rapid destabilisation of collective security in Europe, there was never any doubt that the outbreak of war in Spain would be a big news story in Britain, particularly when it became clear that other major powers were intervening militarily and politically. However, questions as to the nation’s moral responsibilities and strategic interests...

  9. 6 Ominous and Indifferent? British Press Coverage of the Spanish Civil War
    (pp. 114-150)

    From the moment it began, the Spanish Civil War was big news in Britain. To give some idea of the scale of media interest, The Times and the Manchester Guardian published 11,150 items between 15 July 1938 and 15 April 1939 that mainly or exclusively focused on the conflict and its ramifications. From mid July to the end of 1936, these papers averaged, respectively, nine and eight items per day on the war and, although this kind of intense media attention was not sustained for the entire duration of the conflict, the war frequently returned to the forefront of the...

  10. 7 Other Avenues of Spanish News
    (pp. 151-169)

    The daily national press may have been the principal news arena in Britain in the late 1930s but it was not the only one of importance. In this chapter, I consider the representation of the Spanish Civil War in other supplementary but significant contexts – in particular, newsreel coverage, photographic news and the weekly national press. In this review, I draw on several exemplary studies that have been undertaken on these topics. Where appropriate, I also contribute additional primary and secondary analysis and, wherever possible, relate these analyses to the issues raised in the previous chapter to highlight areas of...

  11. 8 Journalists, Spain and the Propaganda State
    (pp. 170-179)

    Antony Beevor has observed that ‘[h]istory is usually written by the winners, but in the case of the Spanish Civil War it has mostly been written on behalf of the defeated’ (2003: 250). In his view, this inversion of the normal course of events is explained by the impact of the global conflict that began five months after the end of the Civil War. Franco’s pre-war alliance with Hitler and Mussolini irreparably destroyed his reputation, even though Spain remained neutral in the Second World War and had considerable strategic value to the West in the Cold War that followed. However,...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 180-188)
  13. Index
    (pp. 189-196)