Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Media tycoons, Press lords

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Down among the press lords

Alan Rusbridger

  • The Life and Death of the Press Barons by Piers Brendon
    Secker, 288 pp, £12.50, December 1982, ISBN 0 436 06811 7

It invented atrocity stories, manufactured interviews, published fake pictures, perverted real incidents. It conducted the most sustained campaign of jingoism in the history of its country. When a battleship was sunk it shrieked: ‘War Sure.’ By the time hostilities commenced in April the paper’s streamer headlines were five and a half inches high. Headlines no longer told the news; they sold the news.

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Lady Rothermere’s Fan

Mary-Kay Wilmers

  • The Letters of Ann Fleming edited by Mark Amory
    Collins, 448 pp, £16.50, October 1985, ISBN 0 00 217059 0

‘We missed you at Chantilly,’ Ann Fleming wrote to Evelyn Waugh in 1956, after she’d been to visit Diana Cooper in France. ‘Mr Gaitskell came to lunch and fell in love with Diana … He had never seen cocktails with mint in them or a magnum of pink champagne. He was very happy. I lied and told him that all the upper class were beautiful and intelligent and he must not allow his vermin to destroy them.’ Mrs Fleming wrote a great many letters to Evelyn Waugh, telling him where she’d had lunch and where she’d had supper and who’d been there and made a fool of himself. It can’t be said that there’s anything in them that the rest of the world badly needs to know; and some people might find her tone of voice offensive. On the other hand, the letters were written for Waugh and he liked them. The question that’s hard to answer is: why are we reading them now?

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Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens

  • Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street by Nicholas GarlandHutchinson, 299 pp, £16.95, April 1990, ISBN 0 09 174449 0
  • A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others by Alan WatkinsDuckworth, 241 pp, £14.95, June 1990, ISBN 0 7156 2334 6

Alexander reminded me that Black once said that he was prepared to let his editors have a completely free hand except on one subject. He forbade attacks on American Presidents in general and President Reagan in particular.

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Land without Prejudice

Perry Anderson on Berlusconi

Italy has long occupied a peculiar position within the concert of Europe. By wealth and population it belongs alongside France, Britain and Germany as one of the four leading states of the Union. But it has never played a comparable role in the affairs of the continent, and has rarely been regarded as a diplomatic partner or rival of much significance. Its image lacks any association with power. Historically, that has no doubt been one of the reasons it has long been the favourite country of foreigners. Germans, French and English alike have repeatedly expressed a warmth of affection for it they have rarely felt for each other, even if the objects of their admiration differed.

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