The Press and Popular Culture in Interwar Europe: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Press and Popular Culture in Interwar Europe

1st Edition

Edited by Sarah Newman, Matt Houlbrook


142 pages

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This collection shows the importance of a comparative European framework for understanding developments in the popular press and journalism between the wars. This was, it argues, a formative and vital period in the making of the modern press. A great deal of fine scholarship on the development of modern forms of journalism and newspapers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has emerged within discrete national histories. Yet in bringing together essays on Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Poland, this book discerns points of convergence and divergence, and the importance of the European context in shaping how news was defined, produced and consumed.

Challenging the tendency of histories of the press to foreground processes of ‘Americanisation’ and the displacement of older notions of the ‘fourth estate’ by new forms of human interest journalism, the chapters draw attention to the complex ways in which the popular press continued to be politicized throughout the interwar period. Building on this analysis, the book examines the forms, processes and networks through which newspapers were produced for public consumption. In a period of massive social, political and economic upheaval and conflict, the popular press provided a forum in which Europe’s meanings and nature could be constructed and contested. The interpersonal, material and technological links between newspapers, news corporations and news agencies in different countries served to define the outlines of Europe. Europe was called into being through the circulation of news and the practices and networks of the modern mass press traced in this volume. This publication is highly relevant to scholars of the history of journalism and cultural historians of interwar Britain and Europe.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Journalism Studies.

Table of Contents

Preface Bob Franklin 1. Introduction: The press and popular culture in interwar Europe Sarah Newman and Matt Houlbrook 2. ‘‘An Organ of Uplift?’’: The popular press and political culture in interwar Britain Adrian Bingham 3. Press Advertising and Fascist Dictates: Showcasing the female consumer in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany Bianca Gaudenzi 4. The Political Cartoon as Educationalist Journalism: David Low’s portrayal of mass unemployment in interwar Britain Mark Hampton 5. Gentleman, Journalist, Gentleman-journalist: Gossip columnists and the professionalisation of journalism in interwar Britain Sarah Newman 6. Fashion for All?: The transatlantic fashion business and the development of a popular press culture during the interwar period Véronique Pouillard 7. The Creation of European News: News agency cooperation in interwar Europe Heidi Tworek 8. Crowds, Culture and Power: Mass politics and the press in interwar France Jessica Wardhaugh 9. ‘‘You Will Find Germany in Peace and Order’’: Edward Meeman, an American journalist who praised and condemned Nazi Germany Dale Zacher

About the Editors

Sarah Newman has recently completed her doctorate The Celebrity Gossip Column and Newspaper Journalism in Britain, 1918-1939 at Linacre College, University of Oxford, UK. Her research interests lie in the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Britain, particularly the history of newspaper journalism, popular print and celebrity culture.

Matt Houlbrook is Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Birmingham, UK. He works on the cultural history of 20th century Britain, with particular interests in gender, sexuality and selfhood. He is the author of Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-57 and is currently finishing a book called The Prince of Tricksters: Cultures of Confidence in Interwar Britain.

About the Series

Journalism Studies

Theory and Practice

The journal Journalism Studies was established at the turn of the new millennium by Bob Franklin. It was launched in the context of a burgeoning interest in the scholarly study of journalism and an expansive global community of journalism scholars and researchers. The ambition was to provide a forum for the critical discussion and study of journalism as a subject of intellectual inquiry but also an arena of professional practice. Previously, the study of journalism in the UK and much of Europe was a fairly marginal branch of the larger disciplines of media, communication and cultural studies; only a handful of Universities offered degree programmes in the subject. Journalism Studies has flourished and succeeded in providing the intended public space for discussion of research on key issues within the field, to the point where in 2007 a sister journal, Journalism Practice, was launched to enable an enhanced focus on practice-based issues, as well as foregrounding studies of journalism education, training and professional concerns. Both journals are among the leading ranked journals within the field and publish six issues annually, in electronic and print formats. From the outset, the publication of themed issues has been a commitment for both journals. Their purpose is first, to focus on highly significant or neglected areas of the field; second, to facilitate discussion and analysis of important and topical policy issues; and third, to offer readers an especially high quality and closely focused set of essays, analyses and discussions; or all three.

The Journalism Studies: Theory and Practice book series draws on a wide range of these themed issues from both journals and thereby extends the critical and public forum provided by them. The Editor of the journals works closely with guest editors to ensure that the books achieve relevance for readers and the highest standards of research rigour and academic excellence. The series makes a significant contribution to the field of journalism studies by inviting distinguished scholars, academics and journalism practitioners to discuss and debate the central concerns within the field. It also reaches a wider readership of scholars, students and practitioners across the social sciences, humanities and communication arts, encouraging them to engage critically with, but also to interrogate, the specialist scholarly studies of journalism which this series provides.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies