MEDIA he was a supporter of Adolf Hitler,


DATE 19.01.2018

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Question 1 –
Discuss the role of the Press Barons during the first half of the twentieth
century with particular reference to their political roles and interventions.

At the start of the twentieth century the press barons held
a tremendous amount of power when it came to the press. Lord Camrose, Lord
Kemsley, Lord Liffe and Lord Astor did not control as much of the political
power throughout the press compared to Rothermore, Northcliffe and Beaverbrook.
Whilst Lord Kemsley did own The Sunday Times, The Daily Sketch and The Sunday.
It could be argued that the most prolific press barons were Rothermere,
Northcliffe and Beaverbrook. Therefore, they will be discussed in this essay.

Lord Rothermere is a prime example of a press baron who had a
huge influence over the nation during the first half of the twentieth century.
He was born on the 26th of April 1868, in London and named Harold Sidney Harmsworth, he is
also brothers with the equally notorious press baron, Lord Northcliffe.
Rothermere, who left school at 16 to become a tax clerk went to work in his
brothers printing business in 1888 before the two brothers started their empire
by buying the London Evening News paper in 1894. With a taste of success
Northcliffe then went on to launch a completely new paper called the Daily
Mail. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017) The Daily Mail was a new type of
success for Rothermere and within four years the circulation grew to 989,000,
mainly due to its fresh content which consisted of short stories, adventure,
human interest, readers interest, and crime. The paper was so popular due to
its replacement of articles on politics and economics with ‘real life stories’
and with the popularity of the newspaper came great power and influence.

With Rothermere confident that he could influence the nation
to believe his newspapers by dictating to editors what they were to produce, – unlike
the freedom they have in the twenty first century- he began to get involved
with politics and had gained so much power that saw himself as untouchable.
However, his position of power reluctantly began to shift as he revealed
throughout his papers that he was a supporter of Adolf Hitler, ‘The Mirror’s
sister paper, then known as the Sunday Pictorial, even ran pictures of
uniformed Blackshirts playing table tennis and enjoying a sing-song around a
piano. Both titles also planned a beauty contest aimed at finding Britain’s
prettiest woman fascist.’ He also produced, ‘under his own byline – articles
that appeared in both the Mail and the Mirror. The former was headlined
“Hurrah for the Blackshirts”. The latter was headlined “Give the
Blackshirts a helping hand. “Within a year, he had removed his support for
Mosley’s party, though he remained an admirer of both Hitler and Mussolini.
Indeed, he met and corresponded with Hitler, even
congratulating him on his annexation of Czechoslovakia. (Greenslade, 2011) (Appendix
1) This shows that Rothermere held an incredible amount of power over the
press, so much so that he was confident that pictures of one of the most evil
men in history would sell thousands of copies of his newspaper and encourage
people to sympathise with him and follow his views.  He then died in 1940 in Bermuda.

Today this type of power can be seen through the press with
the fascist and vile comments made by Donald Trump. He too holds an enormous
amount of power, and his comments which are shown through the media can encourage
his supporters to believe in false statements. For example, when Donald Trump
stated that media organisations who disagree with him are all ‘Fake News’.

Rothermere’s brother Northcliffe also held great power in
the political world, he was born on the 15th July in the Republic of
Ireland and was names Alfred Charles William Harmsworth. He too left school at
sixteen with the idea of becoming a journalist and by the age of twenty-three
after seeing how magazines where made in the US he founded his own magazine
with his brother as financial administrator the ‘Answer to the Correspondents’.
By 1893 the weekly magazine was circulating up to 1,000,000 copies and
Northcliffe bought other magazine companies and constructed the world’s largest
magazine publishing house named Amalgamated Press. (Duffy, 2009) He later went on to buy the London Evening
News with his brother and then created the Daily Mirror. Which initially failed
as it was a female oriented newspaper with an all-female staff and didn’t sell
very well, it was however revamped a few years later in 1905 into a pictorial
newspaper and whilst all the female journalists where fired, it did circulate
much better. In 1908 he also bought the Times.

During the first
half of the twentieth century Northcliffe found himself in the middle of a
political movement with politicians
seeking his approval and advice. This is because by, ‘1914 Northcliffe
controlled 40% of the morning, 45% of the evening and 15% of the Sunday
newspaper circulations.’ (The Conversation, 2014) It is interesting to see in
statistics the amount of power one man had over the British press, his
political opinions and views could realistically sway a nation to be for or
against a political stance. In Northcliffe’s case WW1. Originally reluctant to
working in politics due to not being able to criticize the government
Northcliffe was persuaded to join and had a close relationship with the prime
minister, and was involved heavily in the decisions that were being made.
Northcliffe showed his support through his newspapers and used his power
through the press to persuade others to get behind the war. After he left
politics he made a proposition to the future prime minister in which, ‘In
return for offering support for Lloyd George’s coalition government in the 1918
general election, Northcliffe required that the former accept a list of the
names of people who should feature in his government.'(Duffy 2009) However,
George denied this offer much to the frustration of Northcliffe and won.

Comparisons can be made between Northcliffe’s
power and the power that Rupert Murdoch held over Tony Blair in the lead up to the
Iraq war, “Tony Blair took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on
timings, saying how News International would support us, etc,” Campbell
wrote. “Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another
example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican
buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got.” (Watt


Lord Beaverbrook is a famous press baron for his power
within politics in the UK. As seen bellow. (Beaverbrook Foundation)


Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne


Granted Peerage of the United Kingdom: Baron Beaverbrook


Minister of Information


Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster


Minister of Aircraft Production


Minister of Supply


Minister of War Production


Lord Privy Seal


Beaverbrook moved from Canada to the UK and began to develop
an interest in UK politics as private secretary to Andrew Bonar Law (also
Canadian-born), he helped him ‘win the Conservative Party leadership in 1911.’
With a strong reputation he then went on to help ‘to remove the Liberal H.H.
Asquith as prime minister in favour of the Liberal David Lloyd
George in December 1916.’ (Beaverbrook Foundation) Beaverbrook then
bought a majority in the ‘London Daily Express, the London Sunday
Express and acquired the London Evening Standard (which
then absorbed a noted Liberal paper, the Pall Mall Gazette) and the
Glasgow Evening Citizen’ (Encycloaedia Britannica 2017) Which in turn added to the power he
possessed throughout Britain.

Beaverbrook’s next
political agenda was with Lord Rothermere to remove the Prime minister Stanley
Baldwin from power. They did this by running campaigns against him and
Beaverbrook even created an ‘Empire Free Trade Crusade’ and ran by-election
candidates. This created a shift in the inalienable power which the barons held
as Stanley Baldwin retaliated, ‘Their newspapers are not newspapers in the
ordinary acceptance of the term, they are engines of propaganda for the
constantly changing policies, desires, personal wishes, personal likes and
personal dislikes of two men, What the proprietorship of these papers is
aiming at is power, but power without
responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.’ (Jackson
and Castella, 2011) This was enough to stop the Barons for a while, before a
year later Rothermere refused to support Baldwin unless he gave the Baron eight
names of people he was putting in his future cabinet which Baldwin refused and
commented on publicly. This may have been the first time since the barons came
into power that someone stood up against them and won.

 Therefore showing that
Lord Northcliffe, Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook were all heavily
involved with politics and all played enormous roles in the early twentieth
century, so much so that without them history may not be what we know it to be





















Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2017. Harold Sidney
Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 15 January 2018.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2017. Sir Maxwell Aitken,
1st Baron Beaverbrook. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 2 January 2018.

Michael Duffy. 2009. Who’s Who – Lord Northcliffe.
ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 16 January 2018.

 Nicholas Watt. 2012. Rupert Murdoch pressured
Tony Blair over Iraq, says Alastair Campbell. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 9 January 2018.

Peter Jackson and Tom de Castella. 2011. Clash of
the press titans. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 2 January 2018.

Roy Greenslade. 2011. Don’t damn the Daily Mail for
its fascist flirtation 80 years ago. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 16 January 2018.

The Beaverbrook Foundation. 2018. Lord Beaverbrook.
ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 2 January 2018.

The Conversation. 2014. Press baron and propagandist
who led charge into World War I. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 9 January 2018.















Question 2 – What
parallels can be drawn between Gutenberg’s invention of movable type and the
emergence of the internet 500 years later.

Much like Gutenberg’s invention of movable type in 1450, the
invention of the internet and the world wide web in 1991 (Internet Hall of Fame
2018) was a revolution which could not have been foreseen. Both inventions
changed the way the world works and functions today. Gutenberg gave people the
opportunity to learn and take control of their education through reading and
gathering different types of information as appose to only reading the bible. Whereas,
Vint Cerf, and Robert E Kahn have changed the way we use technology completely,
from satellites orbiting the planet to medical equipment. Although these two
may seem completely opposite inventions there are many parallels which can be
drawn between them which will be discussed throughout this essay.

The first parallel which can be seen through the way the
inventions changed how people gather information and get an education.
Gutenberg did this initially with his forty-two-line bible, but what was
important was that he could create books for scholars and universities, where
people could learn from the literature. For example, as more books were being
produced they could learn more by analysing them whereas before the moveable
type was created they would have had to of shared hand-written books or would
go without. Therefore, it gave scholars the opportunity to analyse different
texts in depth and teach new information about critical and textual analysis.
The consequence of the emergence of the internet was similar in that it also
gave people a sense of freedom by giving them access to new information. Today,
due to the internet it is possible to see and talk to people on the other side
of the world, and satellites can send pictures of space which can give
scientists new information that can be analysed and used to teach others about
important issues such as global warming. The world-wide-web is also a very important
tool in education as it can be used in schools to connect with pupils, and let
them see what they are being taught, i.e. videos of volcanoes if they are learning
about geography. Therefore, although the two revolutionary inventions were 500
years apart they both created freedom for people to gather information and be

A second parallel which can be drawn is the way both inventions
drastically changed the way news and advertising is received. Advertising in the
fifteenth century was almost always through word of mouth as there was no other
way apart from creating posters by hand. However, with the power of moveable
type Gutenberg discovered that printing handbills and flyers in large
quantities was a not only a new business but also a brilliant way to get the
same information spread across the country without it being misinterpreted. This
also applied to news, flyers and leaflets could be distributed to tell people specific
news at that time. Inevitably changing the advertising business completely and creating
a path for newspapers to be created in the future. This is a parallel as the
creation of the internet also created a new way people receive news. For
example, when the first online news story broke in 1998 -which was the Bill
Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal- (WebpageFX 2016) it was seen by people all
around the world. From then the internet has progressed and news can be found immediately
online through news websites and from social media sites. For example, when the
terror attacks occurred in London in 2017, people were warned not to go near
certain spots via twitter as it was the fastest way of communicating and Facebook
also gave people the option of clicking that they were safe to help families
identify their loved ones were okay.  

A third parallel is that moveable type enabled people to
connect and communicate with one another. With the production of books growing
strong in Germany the public had the chance to see books for themselves and
learn about different cultures and achievements that were happening around
them. By giving these to the public and not just scholars and boys of a high social
class to prepare them for university meant that everyone had the opportunity to
have an ambition. This brought people together as they could share what they
have learnt and introduce themselves to different cultures of the world. (Peterson
2017) This is a parallel with the emergence of the internet because the
internet also connects people but in a different way. When the internet began
in 1991 it was a new way to communicate with people, you could share songs (MP3)
online and let others hear what you have been listening too, you could also
share information, however it wasn’t until 2003 when myspace became the first social
media site where people could communicate with one another which again was a revelation.
Whereas today it is easier to communicate with someone over other the internet
rather than writing a letter or even using a phone. Therefore, showing that both
Gutenberg’s moveable type and the emerging internet both helped people to
communicate differently and better even though they were created five hundred
years apart.

Moreover, Gutenberg’s invention changed civilisation in the fifteenth
century along with the emergence of the internet at the end of the twentieth century.
They both done this by giving people control and freedom over what they read
and giving them the opportunity to learn new information. They also gave people
a new way to advertise and receive news, along with creating different ways to
communicate. Therefore, it can be concluded that even though they were created
five hundred years apart they have clear parallels between them.























Internet Hall of Fame. 2018. Internet History.
ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 16 January 2018.

Valerie Peterson. 2017. Learn About Johann Gutenberg.
ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 19 January 2018.

 Webpage FX. 2016. The History of the Internet
in a Nutshell. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 16 January 2018.

























Question 4 – “The
public vomit their bile and call it a newspaper” (Nietzsche) Discuss the
meaning of the quote above exploring the key changes in the press during the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The quote, “The public vomit their bile and call it a newspaper” is
about the term ‘new journalism’ which occurred between 1870 and 1914. New
journalism is a genre
of newspaper. Nietzsche, was a German philosopher who could not understand the
need for these types of newspapers. The three main newspapers which used this
type of journalism were; The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express,
which did not cover the usual economics and politics articles. Instead they had
articles to do with crime, sex, adventure and short stories. This created a new
audience, the middle and working class. These three newspapers paved the way to
new journalism and creating the key changes needed in the press during the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The first key change which occurred was by the Daily Mail. Founded
in 1896 by Alfred Harmsworth (later Viscount Northcliffe) and his brother
Harold (later Viscount Rothermere) they wanted to create a change to the social
structure of a traditional newspaper. They did this by including articles which
included, crime, short stories, adventure, human interest and readers interest.
They also had a quote which they used to describe their paper, ‘Get me a murder
a day.’ This was because people wanted to know about what was going on and
murder was more interesting that politics. Due to the sensationalist stories the
circulation went up to 989,000 by year four. This however sparked criticism from
some people, as it was thought to not be a traditional English newspaper. As it
was reaching such a large audience, it created a great amount of power for the
brothers. They could control the way people thought about situations based on
the opinions they printed in the paper. Therefore, the Daily mail created a key
shift to ‘new journalism’ by not being a traditional broadsheet newspaper and instead
being a tabloid paper, which did not focus on articles that newspapers such as
the ‘The Times’ would produce.

The second paper which changed journalism was the Daily
Mirror, founded in 1903 by Lord Northcliffe. It was a paper targeted at women,
and it also had an all-female staff. Northcliffe stated, ‘I intend it to be
really a mirror of feminine life as well on its grave as on its lighter
sides … to be entertaining without being frivolous, and serious without
being dull,’ this was interesting because there had never been a newspaper which
was specifically aimed at women. However, to Northcliffe’s dismay the paper did
not sell and had to be turned into a pictorial newspaper in 1905. It too was
the first pictorial newspaper of its time and sold very well, it is thought
that at points it sold more than a million copies a day. It also received some criticism
as it would produce notorious stories.  The
quote from Nietzsche could be referring to this newspaper also, due to it being
a pictorial newspaper and the fact it has a rocky start by not initially selling.

The third newspaper, the Daily Express was founded in 1900
by Sir Arthur Pearson, however it didn’t circulate highly until Lord
Beaverbrook bought it in 1916. With Beaverbrook behind It the Daily Express was
the voice of intellectual populism (The Beaverbrook Foundation)
and Beaverbrook enjoyed creating political propaganda through the paper to
reach his ever-growing audience. One reason why Nietzsche could be describing
the Daily Express as vomit could be because of the propaganda and intellectual
populism it produced.

One example of new journalism which changed the course of
history was ‘The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon’ published in the Pall Mall
Gazette which was a series of articles written by W.T. Stead to highlight child
prostitution. This investigative journalism resulted in the Criminal Law Amendment
Act 1885 being amended to ensure the age of consent for girls was 16 rather
than the previous 13. Stead then served three months in prison for unlawful investigating
methods. (A&E Television Network 2014)

To conclude, the quote ‘the public vomit their bile and call
it a newspaper’ is referring to the sensationalist and new journalism.
Newspapers such as The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express all thrived
due to their focus on crime, sex and human-interest stories which all created changes
in the press during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. However,
as Stead showed changes in journalism come with a price. Furthermore, the vomit
that Nietzsche is referring to is the ‘tacky’ stories which are run by these
newspapers such as murder and prostitution, and the word public could be used as
a way of showing that the founders; Northcliffe and Beaverbrook are not trained
enough to be running a newspaper.  Overall
this could be compared to the way news is produced on social media sites today
as ‘everyone’ is a journalist.

























A&E Television Networks. 2014. William Thomas Stead.
ONLINE Available at .Accessed 19 January2018

The Beaverbrook Foundation. 2018. Lord Beaverbrook.
ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 2 January 2018.

The British Newspaper Archive. 1908. Daily Telegraph
& Courier (London. ONLINE Available at:
Accessed 19 January 2018.