Propaganda of the First World War
Propaganda is a means of using the media to get across a political message. In war time this message has several key aims and objectives:
- to engender support for the cause
- to reassure people that the war is going well
- to encourage people to join the armed forces
- to promote initiatives that will help win the war
- to make the enemy look bad
- to justify the need to be fighting
Propaganda takes many forms during the First World War. Below is a list of some of the things that the Government used as Propaganda during World War One:
- Posters were a cheap and effective way of visualising a message
- Leaflets and pamphlets promoted key initiatives
- Poetry was commissioned to glorify the cause
- Writers were paid to write stories, plays and essays that were positive about the war
- Official war artists were employed to paint pictures that were heroic and positive
- War reporters were used who wrote in a ‘certain way’
- Two army war photographers were employed: nobody else was allowed to take a photograph of british troops on the Western Front, a crime punishable by the Death penalty
- Speeches were written by esteemed authors to make sure they conveyed messages effectively
- In London, large replicas of Trench systems were constructed to show the public how well looked after the soldiers were
FirstWorldWar.com – Propaganda Posters of World War One.
Spartacus – Detailed narrative outlining the role of the War Propaganda Bureau.
Wikipedia – article about British Propaganda during the First World War.