During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were increasingly drawn together by an imperial press system. This is the first scholarly study of the development of that system. Revealed to contemporaries by the South African War, the basis on which the system would develop soon became the focus for debate. Commercial organizations, including newspaper combinations and news agencies such as Reuters, fought to protect their interests, while 'ccnstructive imperialists' attempted to enlist the power of the state to strrengthen the system. Debate culminated in fierce controversies over
state censorship and propaganda during and after the First World War.Based on extensive archival research, this study addresses crucial themes, including the impact of empire on the press, Britain's imperial experience, and the idea of a 'British world.' Challenging earlier nationalist accounts, Dr Potter draws out the ambiguous impact of the imperial press system on local, national, and imperial identities.
Readership: Scholars and students of British imperial history; historians of the press.
Simon J. Potter, Lecturer in Imperial History, National University of Ireland, Galway
"This is a well written book that makes a convincing case for the existence of an imperial press system that encompassed the British world during the high noon of empire ... [It] is a valuable addition to the fields of media and imperial history." - Chandrika Kaul, Reviews in History
"The story of the imperial press, as of the Empire itself, is far more complex than some historians would have us believe. This study is a healthy corrective and a finely argued analysis." - Contemporary Review
"Potter has dealt ably and interestingly with a manageable clutch of issues ... excellent foundation work." -
The Round Table
1: The Roots of an Imperial Press System
2: News Distribution and the South African War
3: Constructive Imperialism, State Intervention, and the Press
4: The Role of Reuters
5: The British Press and News from the Dominions
6: The Imperial Press Conference of 1909 and its Consequences
7: The Imperial Politics of the Press
8: The Imperial Press System and the First World War