A New History of War Reporting: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A New History of War Reporting

1st Edition

By Kevin Williams


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780415694988
pub: 2019-12-20
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This book takes a fresh look at the history of war reporting to understand how new technology, new ways of waging war and new media conditions are changing the role and work of today’s war correspondent.  

Focusing on the mechanics of war reporting and the logistical and institutional pressures on correspondents, the book further examines the role of war propaganda, accreditation and news management in shaping the evolution of the specialism. Previously neglected conflicts and correspondents are reclaimed, and wars considered as key moments in the history of war reporting such as the Crimean War (1854-56) and the Great War (1914-18) are re-evaluated.

The use of objectivity as the yardstick by which to assess the performance of war correspondents is questioned. Rather emphasis is placed on war as a messy business which confronts reporters and photographers with conditions that challenge the norms of professional practice. References to the ‘demise of the war correspondent’ have accompanied the growth of the specialism since the days of the William Howard Russell, the so-called father of war reporting. This highlights the fragile nature of this sub-genre of journalism and that continuity as much as change characterises the work of the war correspondent.

A thematically organised, historically rich introduction, this book is ideal for students of journalism, media and communication.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: New history of war reporting

CHAPTER 1: War Correspondents: the changing identity of a sub–genre of journalism

CHAPTER 2: Crimean War (1854-5): the origins of a specialism

CHAPTER 3: ‘Golden Age of War Reporting’ (1854-1905): in the service of empire and nation

CHAPTER 4: The Great Wars (1905-1919): setting the terms of trade of war reporting

CHAPTER 5: War between the World Wars (1919-1939): subjective journalism and the ‘I’ generation

CHAPTER 6: The Great Patriotic War (1939-45): correspondents on team?

CHAPTER 7: The Korean War (1951-54) and Vietnam (1963-73): the power of pictures and images

CHAPTER 8: Gulf Wars (1991 and 2001): selling war

CHAPTER 9: War in the Balkans (1991-95): moral witnessing and the journalism of attachment

CHAPTER 10: Post 9/11 Conflict (2010-present): war reporting without war reporters


About the Author

Kevin Williams is emeritus professor of media and communication history at the University of Swansea.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies