Telegraph to Television: War and the British Media, 1853-1945 - HIST6098

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This course examines the reporting of war in the British media from the Crimean War (1853-1856) to the end of the Second World War in 1945. Against an overview of the causes and consequences of a series of conflicts around the world, the course will present a series of case studies to provide an analysis of the development of the media such as the growth of newspapers, commercial advertising, film and broadcasting. The developing role of war correspondents will be contextualised with the role of government in influencing the flow of information to the public in parallel to the development of the national newspaper press, through early cinema and radio, to enhance students' understanding of the historical developments in the reporting of conflict and the growth of the modern media prior to the dawn of Britain’s television service.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Source analysis 1,000 words 20%
Essay 1 2,500 words 30%
Essay 2 2,500 words 30%
Class Presentation (10 minutes) 20%

Reassessment methods:
This module will be reassessed by 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Connelly, M., et al., Propaganda and Conflict: War, Media and Shaping the Twentieth Century, (Bloomsbury, 2019)
Hoskins, A., & O'Loughlin, B., War and Media: The Emergence of Diffused War, (Cambridge: Polity, 2010)
Knightley, P., First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth Maker from Crimea to Iraq, (Johns Hopkins UP, 2004)
McLaughlin, G., The War Correspondent, (Pluto, 2002)
Taylor, P., Munitions of the Mind: War Propaganda from the Ancient World to the Nuclear Age, (Glasgow: Collins, 1990)
Welch, D., Propaganda & Persuasion, (London: The British Library, 2013)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate greater knowledge and critical understanding of the history and historiography of Britain's involvement in major conflicts of 19th and 20th century history including the Crimean War, the South African Wars, the Spanish Civil War and the Two World Wars.
2 Demonstrate a detailed awareness of of the ways in which understandings of war have been shaped by war correspondents and the media industries in which they operate.
3 To develop a critical understanding of different historical approaches and degrees of bias as well as of the methodological complexities in the historical record itself.
4 To further develop analytical and reflective skills and the ability to express complex ideas and arguments orally and in writing, skills which can be transferred to other areas of study and employment.
5 To further develop communication, presentation and information technology skills.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of modern British history in its international/European context, which should help to equip them to live and work in Continental Europe.
2 Consider critically relevant intellectual concepts as well as differences of opinion and interpretation both in the past and among historians, and they will also be encouraged to develop their ability to identify and solve problems
3 Utilise problem solving skills, and the ability to work both independently and within groups. Students will engage in independent work, using library resources, and will practice and improve their skills in time management, historical research, organisation and analysis of material, oral presentations and essay-writing.
4 Undertake group work to interact effectively with others and to work co-operatively on group tasks.
5 Communicate complex concepts effectively to a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods
6 Demonstrate communication skills and skills in IT.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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