This project examines the struggle journalists, editors, and their news outlets faced navigating multiple and changing boundaries between supporting their nations' fight and their need to uphold professional integrity in reporting the news during the 1944 Allied invasion of France, from D-Day (June 6) to the liberation of Paris (August 25), in three key western democracies: Britain, France, and the United States. Viewed holistically, these case studies exhibit how democratic states believed they needed to exact greater control over the press to better control the wartime narrative and ensure the public's belief in the legitimacy of their nation’s fight. Looking at the tensions between state-sponsored propaganda, wartime censorship offices, and the press in these three cases, one of which was bifurcated and therefore even more complicated, we can learn a lot about how state agencies and actors perceived citizens' dedication to the national wartime cause. The two in-tact democracies, Britain and the US, enacted significant control over the press to protect, even shape public morale and support. In Britain, with the war so ever-present, censorship consisted of a partnership between the Ministry of Information and journalists who worked together to protect national security and promote unity. For the US, because the war was so far away, Roosevelt's administration felt it had to control the narrative to overcome long standing isolationist sentiment. France, no longer a democracy but with a deep democratic tradition, highlights how important it was for the government to control the narrative to maintain the people's support and ensure its own legitimacy. Late in the war, the Vichy regime struggled to control the press, particularly as underground, resistance newspapers provided a hopeful counternarrative. In Britain and the US, the public, including journalists themselves, believed in the government's legitimacy and the war’s aims. As a result, news outlets were more willing to follow the rules and do their part for their nation’s wartime cause.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Oldham, Jessica, "'Read All About It': Journalism and War in Britain, France, and the United States during the Allied Invasion of France (June-August 1944)" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1422.
Restricted to the UCF community until 12-15-2025; it will then be open access.