The information front: the Canadian Army, public relations, and war news during the Second World War

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dc.contributor.author Balzer, Timothy John
dc.date.accessioned 2009-03-02T20:01:32Z
dc.date.available 2009-03-02T20:01:32Z
dc.date.copyright 2009 en_US
dc.date.issued 2009-03-02T20:01:32Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/1346
dc.description.abstract War news and public relations (PR) was a critical consideration for the Canadian Army during the Second World War. The Canadian Army developed its PR apparatus from nothing to an efficient publicity machine by war’s end, despite a series of growing pains. Canadian Military Headquarters in London appointed the first PR Officer, William Abel, in January 1940. PR services overseas grew along with the size of the army. The early days were marked by lack of coordination and often jurisdictional and personality conflicts between Abel and the other PR Officers and organizations. The 19 August 1942 Dieppe raid was the low point for both the accuracy of war news and Canadian PR involvement because Lord Mountbatten’s Combined Operations Headquarters minimized Canadian PR’s involvement in planning. This resulted in early portrayals of the raid as successful and the British censored a more honest explanation by the Canadian Army. The Sicilian and Italian campaigns provided a learning experience for the PR units. In Sicily, the news coverage of the Canadians was a public success, but PR had trouble with their allies in gaining national recognition and representation. Additionally, the question of correspondents’ priorities and delays getting to the front and transportation difficulties angered the press. Many of these problems continued in Italy until the appointment of Richard Malone, who enjoyed support from the politicians, press, and military. Applying the Mediterranean experience and participating in Allied publicity planning contributed to the excellence of Canadian PR during the Northwest Europe Campaign. PR maintained the confidence of the press while still controlling the correspondents. The army also largely overcame the temptation to censor bad news although this sometimes embarrassed Ottawa. Allied regulations sanitized war news preventing the reporting of the more disturbing aspects of war. Through censorship, the army exercised a great deal of control over the news media, yet this hegemony was incomplete because of need to keep the press friendly. Although a large sceptical minority remained, most Canadians considered their war news to be accurate. In sum, Canadian Army PR was generally successful, portraying the army positively and attracting media coverage. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Canadian Army en_US
dc.subject Public Relations en_US
dc.subject War Correspondents en_US
dc.subject Second World War en_US
dc.subject Censorship en_US
dc.subject Dieppe Raid en_US
dc.subject Sicily campaign en_US
dc.subject casualty report publication en_US
dc.subject Normandy campaign en_US
dc.subject Propaganda en_US
dc.subject William Abel en_US
dc.subject Richard S Malone en_US
dc.subject Louis Mountbatten en_US
dc.subject Italian Campaign en_US
dc.subject.lcsh UVic Subject Index::Humanities and Social Sciences::History::Canada--History en_US
dc.title The information front: the Canadian Army, public relations, and war news during the Second World War en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Zimmerman, David
dc.degree.department Dept. of History en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Balzer, Timothy. “’In Case the Raid is Unsuccessful’… Selling Dieppe to Canadians,” Canadian Historical Review 87.3 (September 2006): 409-430. en_US

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