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In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain?

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Introduction

In what ways did the British government attempt to hide the effects of the Blitz from the people of Britain? Through out the blitz the government was determined to maintain the high morale of the British people and attempt to portray a sense of normality through the media. This was realised before war was even declared with secret meetings being held between the director general of the BBC and the cabinet office and it was then decided that in the event of war broadcasts should report "Truthfully and accurately, but not in such detail as to endanger the civilian population or jeopardise operations.". Censorship was not only important to ensure the public were not bombarded by tragic news; but also to prevent the enemy from discovering which targets had been most successful. By diluting or entirely withholding information to the public whilst remaining in the above guideline the civilian morale remained high. The government worked in co-operation with the BBC realising that it could be the voice of the cabinet as long as it was incorporated under Royal Charter, controlling the public's mind set. The government ensure that any news source reporting directly to the public was censored with the help of the Minister of Information. An example of the government attempting to hide the effects of the Blitz was when Coventry was horrifically bombed. ...read more.

Middle

Posters were the government's cheap source of powerful communication. They could continually and effectively blast the public with messages and short phrases which could then be more fully explained over the radio.. An example of this is the "Dig for Victory" campaign which the BBC encouraged with Radio Broadcasts on vegetables in the garden and their uses. Campaigns like this and others where railing were taken down and donated form the public for the war effort but were actually never used were used solely to make Citizens feel like they were doing their bit united. Throughout the war the most public communication tool was the radio. Nearly every home in Britain had access to Radio broadcasts at this time - and so the Government could easily broadcast messages to the masses. The government created propaganda broadcasts; carefully selecting the vocabulary used in each to incite different emotions. "Collateral damage" for example was used to describe death of civilians, this term is more clinical, and does encourages detachment of emotion. Programmes were broadcast for all ages; for children there were stories broadcast and for adults as well as news there were also broadcasts from famous performers and heroes of the entertainment industry performing over the radio. Information submitted by government for inclusion in bulletins was often extremely biased. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows how strongly the citizens looked to their neighbours for how to respond. When surrounded by others crying, screaming and trembling all over, they reacted similarly, before then, however, they had coped better. The Government worked hard to ensure the delicate balance between ensuring the truth was not kept from the public, because this would have caused the public to disbelieve what they saw. News is passed in other ways than through the media which can be censored. Word of mouth would have meant people could hear of the atrocities occurring (for example, in Coventry) however, by mentioning it in a positive light (showing people re-building) and not in a negative, destructive way, the people did not realise that the censorship was occurring In conclusion, I think that the quick governmental realisation of the use of media to maintain morale had an essential role in the war effort. Essentially they assessed every avenue of communication with the public and ensured that there were appropriate measures in place to make sure that only the government's message was given to the people. The people of Britian would have been aware of the effects of the Blitz, particularly if they were living in London or another city directly being attacked, but through watching the reactions of other people through the media, they were informed in how to respond. . William Pate CAND No. 5181 ...read more.

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