The Press and the Public during the Boer War 1899-1902


By Dr Jacqueline Beaumont Hughes, published 1st March 1999

Dr Jacqueline Beaumont Hughes considers some aspects of the role of the Press during the Boer War. The conflict between Great Britain and the Republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State which slipped into war in October 1899 was to become the most significant since the Crimean war. It was to last for almost three years. It was more costly in money, manpower and loss of life than any British military venture hitherto. In many respects it was the first modern war, involving civilians on an unprecedented scale, and raising questions about refugees and their treatment which have become all too familiar. It was also the first war fought by a British Army to receive saturation coverage from the Press.

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