Category: media

‘How we love the little scrappy bits of news even if they make us a bit homesick at times – The local papers may not seem newsy to you but
it is different to me thousands of miles away.’

soldier’s letter to his mom, asking her to continue to send local papers – Boredom is the Enemy

Photo: December 20
, in the Marne region, France –  Studio photography of an American soldier reading his hometown
newspaper “The Scranton Republican” – Capitaine Longuet, Officier d’Artillerie

                                     November 7 1918, False Armistice and a Real Party!

‘When United
States press flashed word to its client papers in the US that an armistice was
signed November 7, 1918, homefolks in hundred of cities didn’t doubt the
report. When the premature news reached the states at 11.56am. factories, boats, and
railroad locomotives tied down their sirens and whistles. Workers poured out of
shops and offices closed for the day. From coast to coast, people came out on the street
to hold impromptu carnivals. The Secretary of state denied the armistice report
in Washington and newspapers began to print the denial late in the afternoon.

This had small
effect on dampening the public spirits, and persistent denials by government
officials didn’t quiet the celebrations until late evening.’


“Sunday October 6 1918 – Fascinating news these days. Changes come fast and furious. How
far will it go? And these proclamations air-dropped by German planes? So why is this war still going

French soldier’s diary in Aspach-le-haut, Alsace, France 1914-1918, quatre années sur
le front: carnets d’un combattant
– Photo: WW1 French soldiers reading the newspapers.

                                                          WW1 Status Update

Summer 1917, Boulevard des Italiens, Paris – A crowd watching a man updating a map of the
western front set up for the Parisians by the French newspaper Excelsior.

                                                      The Office of Censorship

‘The rigid censorship on journalism in Europe
brings the American press into close relationship with the Embassy. The news we
bring to the Embassy require unusual discretion and confidence so that
the American public receive accurate information, while avoiding any
improprieties against the countries involved in the conflict.

This censorship, sometimes incredibly
stupid, is responsible for a great many myths. “Beating
the censor” is a gleeful game for some
correspondents until it becomes clear that the censor always wins, and can even
suppress their activities altogether. The “half truths” of the official
communications is also responsible for mixing the real news with fiction.

But finally, we are going officially to the
! No sentry can stop us. No officer can
“detain” us—there is no fear of prison at our journey’s end. It’s been
decided by Joffre himself! He appointed a Captain, whose orders is to
remain with us even after our return to Paris, where he will place the magic visa
of the Etat Major upon our articles, thus preventing any delays at the regular Bureau de Censure.’

Wythe Williams, WW1 American journalist, who became so frustrated with the censorship that he volunteered to drive an ambulance – “intead of sitting around in the Paris bureau”.

Passed by the Censor, the Experience of an American Newspaper Man in
– Photos: 1916, Paris, The office of Censorship. Gallica. More photos here.