Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

History Unit 2

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“Do you agree with the view suggested in source 5 that the main factor preventing the press from publishing ‘bad news’ during the Boer war was censorship by the military authorities? ” Bad news during the Boer war was events such as the mass death which occurred in the concentration camps. Source 5 says that “some journalists tried to report bad news as well as good, but in the face of military cenecorship, they did not persist”. I do agree with the view suggested by Source 5 because the Boer war was the first to have an official British army censor unlike the Crimean war where the events which went on during then remains questionable .

Source 4 seems to agree with the view suggested in source 5 by describing the war as a time for the press “to conform to every reasonable restriction it may seem desirable for the military authorities to impose”. However, source 6 seems to disagree with both 4 and 5 as it described the war correspondent as becoming “increasingly jingoistic” this term is therefore describing the press as being fanatically patriotic. Source 4 is primary evidence which was published in 1990 by a real war correspondent, thus making his claim more reliable that “to write anything detrimental to the national interest” would be going against military regulations.

This suggests that there were restrictions placed upon what the press could print that would paint Britain in a bad name, especially the conservative party. Similarly, Source 5 a book published in 2002 leaves the open question as to whether the publisher Peter Browning has been influenced by different thoughts since the war, therefore making the reliability of the information provided in the source questionable. However the content of the source does suggest that there were limits placed upon what the press could published, this is because the military authorities wanted the British people to remain patriotic as implied by source 6.

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Source 6 was published by The Daily Mail, one of the most best selling newspaper in the country and was particularly enthusiastic about the war, along with this, it may be accurate to suggest that one of the main of this newspaper was to keep sales going by giving the British people what they want to hear and hide the truth in what really happened as suggested in both Source 4 and especially Source 5, similarly to the Crimean war.

In conclusion, I agree with the source given by Source 5 as I know that the military authorities did want to prevent the publishing of bad news in the Boer war. Lord Kitchener felt that the press needed to be controlled, this made him introduce the greater censorship during the guerrilla phase of the way which was between 1900 and 1901, which is ironic because the book was published in 1995, painting the war in good light with the press enjoying “their war through music hall songs”. Therefore achieving its aim of hiding the ‘bad news which may have occurred during the 1

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