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The course of World War I harmed the major European news agencies, favoured the US agencies and changed the state of play in South America, and to a lesser extent in Africa and Asia. Propaganda polluted news; censorship, in various forms, often triumphed. “Regime change” in Russia and elsewhere had lasting consequences for the international news flow. And applications of new technologies, concerning radio and cinema newsreels, if still in their infancy, presaged, in American parlance, “a whole new ball game”. War reporting was almost a non-sequitur: propaganda and censorship triumphed in belligerent countries more than ever before: factual reporting was rare.
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Lebey, paralysed, followed agency matters from his Parisian home but was no longer actively involved; he died in 1922.
Havas “tolerated” the continued activity of L’Agence Radio (1904), officially founded in 1918.
A. Lefebure, op. cit., p. 240.
“Les agences d’information”, 13 September 1917, A.N. (France) 65 AQ U141.
In late 1913, Havas appointed full-time correspondents in New York and St. Petersburg: in 1912, it opened a bureau in Rabat.
S. C. Clements, Reuters assistant secretary, devised this, like AP’s W. P. Phillips.
J. Entwisle, “Remembering our colleagues”, Reuters blog.
Cf. D. Read, op. cit., pp. 125–7.
31 March 1917.
D. Wynseck, R. Pike, op. cit., p. 246.
O. Gramling, op. cit., p. 238.
Ibid., p. 243; Ph. Knightley, op. cit., p. 129.
J. A. Morris, Deadline every minute, New York, Doubleday, 1957, p. 102 ff.
J. A. Morris, op. cit., p. 103.
One Petersburg/Petrograd cable message to New York was 62 days in transit. O. Gramling, op. cit., p. 268.
Meaning: “herald”, “messenger”.
D. Read, op. cit., pp. 143–5. P. Frédérix, op. cit., p. 322.
In September 1914, despatches from Britain’s ambassador in Berlin “representing an official German organisation for influencing the press of other countries” were presented to the Houses of Parliament. Despatches of 27 February and 3 April related the genesis, at German government prompting, of a private company, which signed with Havas an agreement that Havas would “only publish news concerning Germany supplied by … Wolff” and wanted to do likewise with Reuters. The first foreign countries targeted were in South America and the Far East. HMSO, Cd.7595.
D. Winseck, R. Pike, op. cit., p. 243.
Heidi J. S. Tworek (2016) “How not to build a world wireless network: German-British rivalry and visions of global communications in the early twentieth century, History and Technology, 32:2. pp. 178–200. H. Tworek, News from Germany, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2019.
The Kansas City (Mo.) Journal. Edwin Hood archive. Washington D.C. (Cf. infra).
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. mm 79026435.
A reference to the sensational journalism associated with Jo Pulitzer and W. R. Hearst.
“Up at 7, to bed at midnight, … hard work … writing my darned head off”.
E. Hood to Sophie Hood, 13 February 1919. (The League of nations was established in January 1920; previously, the US Congress refused to ratify the Versailles peace treaty and the League of Nations. W. Wilson died in 1924.) In March 1919, Hood heard from Washington of Republican party opposition to a “League of Nation plan. We fear a tremendous crash that will overturn every remaining sane government in Europe and turn America into a great military camp”. At other times he was hopeful of how “American newspaper correspondents have... some influence for good because of the effect of our writings upon the entente nations as represented here through their newspapers” (13 February).
Edward House, adviser to W. Wilson.
Arthur Balfour, previously British prime minister, was foreign secretary 1916–19.
E. Hood to S. Hood, 2 March 1919.
S. Pichon, French foreign affairs minister, 1917–20 (Hood writes “Pinchon”).
E. Hood to S. Hood, 2 March 1919.
M. Stone, op. cit., p. 355.
Ibid., p. 360.
The niceties of the legal terminology included “unclean hands” and “ticker tips”.
- World War I and the Agencies
Michael B. Palmer
- Chapter 4