Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the by Michael S. Sweeney

By Michael S. Sweeney

In the course of global struggle II, the civilian place of work of Censorship supervised an immense and unusually winning application of reports administration: the voluntary self-censorship of the yank press. In January 1942, censorship codebooks have been dispensed to all American newspapers, magazines, and radio stations with the request that reporters adhere to the ideas inside. Remarkably, over the process the conflict no print journalist, and just one radio journalist, ever intentionally violated the censorship code after having been made conscious of it and figuring out its intent.

Secrets of Victory examines the area conflict II censorship software and analyzes the explanations for its luck. utilizing archival assets, together with the workplace of Censorship's personal documents, Michael Sweeney lines the improvement of reports media censorship from a urgent necessity after the assault on Pearl Harbor to the centralized but effective forms that persuaded millions of reporters to censor themselves for the sake of nationwide defense. on the center of this frequently dramatic tale is the workplace of Censorship's director Byron rate. A former reporter himself, fee depended on cooperation with--rather than coercion of--American newshounds in his struggle to shield the nation's secrets.

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No doubt a lot of the above information is common knowledge in your community,’’ Sorrells said in the letter, one of , sent to publications that violated the voluntary censorship code in . ‘‘But this information is pointed up in a way to illustrate the strategic value. . ’’ 2 He did not ask for a reply, and if publisher Harry Newman bothered to make one, it did not find its way into the fat folders of correspondence between the Office of Censorship’s Press Division and the nation’s newspapers and magazines.

He was inclined to agree to whatever was asked, having been a soldier in World War I and knowing the importance of duty in wartime. In meetings with Price on the afternoon of December , Walker, Mellett, Early, and Biddle confirmed that Roosevelt wanted Price to direct the nation’s censorship during the war. Price recorded in his memoir that before he made a decision, he wanted the answers to three questions: Who would be his boss? How much would he be insulated from outside interference in censorship decisions?

S. 71 The army also tightened its news operation. Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson announced on April , , that all news stories about army operations outside the United States would be subject to ‘‘censorship at the source,’’ meaning the army expected reporters to clear such stories before filing them. S. 72 Roosevelt tried to calm fears of official censorship by sending a letter to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April . Suppression of opinion and censorship of news ‘‘are among the mortal weapons that dictatorships direct against their own peoples and direct against the world,’’ he wrote.

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