Reporting in the Boer War

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 11-03-19 21:01

The State of Journalism

- the 1870 Forster Education Act had improved literacy since Crimea, papers such as The Daily Mail cost only one halfpenny - more affordable. Readership much larger. 

- as a writer for The Daily Chronicle and Morning Post - Churchill often used scaremongering to inspire change in the army. He also escaped from the Boers so may have viewed them negatively.

- Edgar Wallace was strongly pro-war.

- female writers such as Lady Sarah Wilson covered Baden-Powell's exploits in Mafeking - made him a national hero. 

- John Hobson argued in the anti-war paper The Manchester Guardian which argued that the war was only benefitting the rich business owners such as Cecil Rhodes - which was true. 

- the variety of war correspondents and the views which they possess shows a massive difference compared to the Crimean war. 

1 of 4

Different Papers and their Agendas

  • The Daily Mail - positive pro-war
  • The Times - balanced (truthful)
  • Daily Chronicle - pro-war but critical of army to inspire change
  • Morning Post - balanced
  • The Manchester Guardian - anti-war (but was vilified due to this)
  • The Daily News - anti-war/pro-Boer (set up by Lloyd George)
2 of 4

Shift in Reporting Attitudes

- as the embarassment of the war dragged on, the press started to become less jingoistic. 

- after events such as 'Black Week' - the press understandably became very negative - changed perceptions on the Boers being primitive and backwards. 'Farmers'. 

- during the guerrilla phase much war reporting stopped (lack of excitement) until Emily Hobhouse - The Manchester Guardian - revealed the horrors of the concentration camps. 

- Roberts had a great relationship with the media - known as 'Bobs' back home - transparent. 

- Baden-Powell was also given a good rep by the press.

- Kitchener was less loved by the press, constantly being harassed by them took its toll and he got frustrated - stating that 'they do all in their power to encourage the Boers and to dishearten our troops' - which was kind of right in some instances. 

- through the anti-war paper The Daily News - David Lloyd George made great political gain. 

- good news (e.g.relief of Mafeking) was celebrated in mass demonstrations - 'Mafficking'. 

3 of 4

Short/Long Term Influence of the Press

- pamphlets and posters also influenced public opinion.

- for some reason, British troops allowed Hobhouse into the concentration camps - with her reports on the horrific conditions being reported in The Manchester Guardian. Referred to as 'that bloody woman' by Kitchener. 

- sparked the Fawcett Commission (headed by Millicent Fawcett) to improve camp conditions - reporting therefore sparked change. 

- cameras were more advanced than in Crimea (handheld) brought the war to life, sketch artists also. 

- issues revealed by the press during the Boer war meant in future conflicts (WWI) it would be censored. Press meant that the war became a lasting stain on the British Empire. 

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all British Experience of Warfare resources »