Churchill and the Press

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Throughout the war, Churchill took little interest in government propaganda from a strategic point of view, since he believed that Hitler could be beaten only by armed force, not by words.  However, he took an intense interest in how the press was depicting the government and him personally, amounting to an obsession.

Churchill would often phone the Ministry Of Information at midnight and demand that copies of the next day’s newspapers be sent over to Downing Street or Chequers for him to read in bed.  He would scour each page for reporting that he considered disloyal and complain bitterly to Minister of Information Brendan Bracken – his former Parliamentary Private Secretary – who would then have to smooth things over with editors.

Churchill shared this dislike of the press with other members of his coalition War Cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Home Secretary Herbert Morrison. On several occasions Churchill and Morrison threatened full blown government regulation and censorship and on one occasion threatened to close down the Daily Mirror completely.

To read about Churchill and the Press in more detail see this page.

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