• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why Did the British Mass Media support the appeasement of Hitler in the years 1933-1939?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History of Journalism - Essay 2 Why Did the British Mass Media support the appeasement of Hitler in the years 1933-1939? Appeasement was the conciliatory policy adopted by Britain and France towards the aggressive foreign policy of Nazi Germany in the years preceding the Second World War. In Britain it is normally associated with the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain but was also followed by Stanley Baldwin. It has been argued by historians such as Richard Cockett that the press in Britain was manipulated by Whitehall - especially during Chamberlain's years as Prime Minister - to publish only pro-appeasement articles and news and therefore "no alternative to the policy of appeasement was ever consistently articulated in the press."1 It is indeed partly true that Chamberlain was a master of press manipulation and the BBC broadcasts were closely monitored by the Foreign Office. However it would be incorrect to assume that all of the press was pro-appeasement and there were dissenting voices. ...read more.

Middle

Richard Cockett maintains that it was "due to the incestuous relationship between Whitehall and the press that developed during the 1930s that meant that the press could infact do nothing but help Chamberlain pursue appeasement."2 Cockett blames the lobby system on many journalists' willingness to follow Chamberlain's policy of appeasement. During Baldwin's premiership, ministers including Chamberlain had exclusive access to the lobby. Cockett points out that Chamberlain was adept at handling the lobby and that they were "honorary members of a power establishment and ex-officio members of a political system."3 Any journalists who expressed suspicions about Hitler's or Mussolini's intentions or Chamberlain's point of view would be excluded by Chamberlain from access to other news, as was the privilege of the lobby. In addition to the journalists, cabinet ministers had close relationships with editors and proprietors as well. Lord Halifax was close to Geoffrey Dawson the editor of The Times and Richard Cockett points out that throughout the 1930s, "Dawson was privy to more cabinet thinking and secrets than most members of the government... ...read more.

Conclusion

Rex Leeper of the foreign office "realised that with a degree of openness and flattery diplomatic correspondents could be welded into a cohesive body who could always be relied upon to put a Foreign Office point of view in the press."7 In October 1933 when Germany walked out of the League of Nations, Vernon Bartlett "pleaded over the air for greater understanding of the German viewpoint and suggested that Britian and her allies were as much to blame for Germany's action as Hitler."8 In early 1938 the BBC ran a series of talks entitled "The Way of Peace" discussing pacifism and isolationism. 1 Richard Cockett, Twilight of Truth, p 188 2 Richard Cockett, Twilight of Truth, p.1 3 Richard Cockett, Twilight of Truth p.7 4 Ibid p.12 5 Richard Cockett, Twilight of Truth p.75 6 A J P Taylor, Beaverbrook, p.343 7 Richard Cockett, Twilight of Truth, p.16 8 Philip M Taylor, British Propaganda in the Twentieth Century, p.99 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Causes of show trials + purges of 1930s.

    When Germany invaded Poland this was the start of the 2nd world war. The soviet union was also expelled from The League of Nations because it was starting war with Finland. Russia won the little war which gave them a little bit of Finland.

  2. Were the 1930's the Devils Decade or The Dawn of Affluence?

    His extensive research into social Britain is a brilliant example of the "Devil's Decade". Rowntree explained that a family of five could survive on 43 shillings and 6 pence excluding rent, this is the absolute bare minimum needed to maintain "physical efficiency".

  1. Hitlers Germany

    The French army had been organized for and conditioned to a stationary war. The fluid war of movement, imposed on it by the Germans, bewildered it. Above all, it lacked anti-tank guns, without which it was completely helpless against the German Panzers.

  2. To what extent did Hitlers Policies attract working class support between 1933 and 1939?

    Operating within industrial centres, they witnessed genuinely negative sentiment, which they frequently exaggerated. Kershaw recognized a "playing down of genuine approval"7, which must be considered when evaluating workers' support. The disenfranchisement of SOPADE was seen in the description of an initially positive working class response to the socio-economic policy as a "mystery"8.

  1. Was appeasement the only option open to Britain in 1938-1939?

    This was however incorrect at the time of the Munich conference but with neither power committing to a large re-armament programme for the fear of it seeming hypocritical in the face of solving the dispute through diplomacy, the German army was soon almost as powerful as the both of them put together.

  2. Explain the role of Czechoslovakia in the appeasement story.

    Therefore it was obvious that it would be not too long before Hitler began to take steps to invade Czechoslovakia. Before the Wall Street Crash there had been no problems with the German minorities. However, afterwards the Germans began to separate themselves from the rest of Czechoslovakia, segregating themselves in what they now referred to as the Sudetenland.

  1. Did the policy of appeasement go to any great lengths toward stopping the outbreak ...

    Concluding that the policy was pointless as it only prolonged the inevitable. In order to make an informed conclusion to whether or not appeasement was the correct policy to pursue, it is essential to look at the events and debates leading up to the out-break of world war 2.

  2. Even after the German occupation of Prague in March 1939, Neville Chamberlain was reluctant ...

    Versailles, and cites that Chamberlain saw Munich as ?no new problem? in regards to Hitler?s course to rectify the Treaty. Indeed, it seemed that this was Hitler?s plan: he had already remilitarised the Rhineland and the Anschluss with Austria was still fresh in memory, and so in this light, the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work