British Newsreels at War, 1939-45: A Significant Source for Scholars

  • Grace E Stephenson


Subject to wartime restrictions, the five British commercial newsreel companies continued to produce cinema newsreels throughout the Second World War. This article summarises the voluntary and compulsory censorship arrangements for newsreel content and the rota system for filming to indicate how the Ministry of Information and the Services implicitly and explicitly controlled wartime newsreel production. As the unrivalled form of mass-communication of visual news media during the period, the newsreels contributed significantly to British wartime propaganda, and the purpose of the article is to argue for the value of the wartime newsreels as a source for scholars of the conflict.

Research Notes