Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The British Gazette

British Gazette, May 5, 1926In the age of the internet we forget that there once was a time when the news was not accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In those days people relied on the broadcasting services and the newspapers for that steady stream of news. It is, therefore, not surprising that when a 1926 general strike related to coal miners shut down the United Kingdom,
the fear of rumors replacing factual news accounts was worrisome to its government.

British Gazette, May 13, 1926With "nearly all the newspapers hav[ing] been silenced," the government decided to go into the newspaper business themselves, likening the lack of accurate news to that of "African natives" carrying tales from place to place. Winston Churchill, who at that time was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was instrumental in getting it done. Drawing on his past experience as a journalist he offered editorial guidance - turning the newspaper into an effective organ for the government. Printed on the presses of the Morning Post, the British Gazette set out "to carry full and timely news throughout all parts of the country."

British Gazette, May 13, 1926 - circulation numbers
Run without profit (it sold for 1 penny) and entirely at the expense of the government, the paper was published between May 5 and May 13, 1926 and was disbanded when the strike ended after 9 days.

The entire run of the British Gazette can be found in in the Forsch Collection of Winston Churchill material, MS-788.

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